Gonzalo Pineda, Ezequiel Barco not with Atlanta United on first day of camp

Atlanta United started its first training camp for the 2022 MLS season Tuesday without its manager and several key players.

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Manager Gonzalo Pineda wasn’t with the team because he is in health and safety protocols, as is fullback Mikey Ambrose, midfielder Matheus Rossetto and draft pick Erik Centeno. There are various procedures that must be fulfilled that are dependent upon why the person entered the protocols before the person would be allowed to return. For example, if a person tested positive for COVID-19, that person must twice test negative before they can return. None of the people in the protocols are experiencing symptoms.

“The first day of preseason is always exciting,” goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. “There’s a certain level of anticipation to it. There is a certain buzz around the building, which is good. The world we live in at the minute, these types of things happen. Timing, it’s probably not ideal from their side, or ours. But it is what it is.”

Guzan said the manager spoke to the players this morning via Zoom.

Attacking midfielder Ezequiel Barco and striker Erik Lopez have permission to report at an unspecified later date. Both reportedly are being pursued for loans by clubs in South America. Barco is of interest to two clubs in Brazil, Flamengo and Internacional. The club needs to move him to open a Designated Player spot for Thiago Almada.

Barco had his best season with the club last year, setting personal bests for starts (23), goals (7) and assists (8). Barco has 81 appearances with 17 goals and 17 assists in the past four seasons. The club reportedly paid more than $13 million to acquire him before the 2018 season.

Atlanta United confirmed it is working on loaning Lopez to Banfield in Argentina. Lopez, 20, scored one goal in 18 appearances last season. Atlanta United paid a reported transfer fee of $3.7 million to Olimpia for Lopez before the 2020 season.

Additionally, winger Jake Mulraney is working to secure his green card and isn’t with the team. Securing the card would open an International spot on the roster.

Centerback Miles Robinson and fullbacks George Bello and Brooks Lennon are with the U.S. men’s national team at its camp in Arizona.

Sounding like Guzan, new signee Ozzie Alonso said “it is what it is” when asked if it mattered that so many teammates, and the manager, couldn’t participate in the first day of camp.

“We’ve come to the first day of training to give everything we have for the season,” he said.

Midfielders Emerson Hyndman and Santiago Sosa are completing rehab. They are expected to start participating in full team activities in the coming weeks.

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 vs. Sporting KC, 3 p.m., FS1

March 5 at Colorado, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

March 13 vs. Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FS1

March 19 vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 2 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 9 at Charlotte, 3 p.m., ESPN

April 16 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN

April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 15 vs. New England, 2 p.m., ESPN

May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX

May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 19 vs Miami, 4 p.m., ESPN2

June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1

August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

August 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE