Raul Gudino ready for the challenge of Atlanta United, MLS

Atlanta United goalkeeper Raúl Gudiño makes a save during training at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta United goalkeeper Raúl Gudiño makes a save during training at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta. (Photo by Dakota Williams/Atlanta United)

Credit: Dakota Williams/Atlanta United

Goalkeeper Raul Gudino and centerback Juan Jose Purata may not be Atlanta United’s only additions, manager Gonzalo Pineda said Thursday.

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He said the team is working on at least one more signing. He declined to say at what position, but the team needs depth at fullback and on the wing. He said it may be a player who fits into the Under-22 Initiative. The transfer window opens July 7.

Pineda did say why the team signed Gudino and Purata. He said both are good with the ball at their feet, both are good in the air and both bring experience. Gudino, 26, has made more than 160 appearances as a pro in Portugal and with Chivas in LIGA MX, as well as five appearances for the Mexican national team. Purata, 24, had more than 30 appearances for Tigres in LIGA MX. Pineda said he knew the two players before they signed with the club. Gudino said he knew of Pineda and that having a manager who speaks Spanish is a benefit.

Gudino, who had offers from clubs in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe, said he’s excited about the challenge.

“I think, as a group, this is a team that has a lot of quality,” he said. “So our goal is always to compete for a championship and then on a personal level just to be ready whenever Gonzalo and the team needs me.”

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Gudino said he knew of Atlanta United because of its games against Club America, Monterrey, Pachuca and its friendly during the preseason at his previous club, Chivas. He said he also had spoken to Ronaldo Cisneros, who is on loan with Atlanta United from Chivas.

Gudino was signed because starting goalkeeper Brad Guzan and backup Dylan Castanheira suffered season-ending Achilles ruptures earlier this season. Bobby Shuttleworth started the next six games after Guzan’s injury, and Rocco Rios Novo has started the past two. The team will play at Toronto on Saturday.

Gudino, who is 6-foot-5, said he thinks he can help the team better defend set pieces. The team has given up nine goals on set pieces across all competitions this season. Pineda said Gudino’s height and Purata’s jumping ability were among the considerations when they were scouted.

“I think we need to take advantage of the qualities of each guy, and we’re going to continue to work on that,” Gudino said. “But, of course, we know that that’s something we can work on, and I’m here to help, however the team needs me.”

Gudino said he is good with the ball at his feet, which Pineda demands from the goalkeepers, because playing out of the back was the preferred style of his previous managers.

Gudino and Purata aren’t eligible to play until after the window opens. The first possible game is July 9 against Austin at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Gudino said he will use the time to learn his teammate’s names, what Pineda wants and just gain a level of comfort in his new country and with his new club. He said he hopes to play well enough to earn a call-up to the Mexican national team.

“Totally for that,” he said. “I just have to work and show it on the field.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

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

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

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

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

Aug. 21 at Columbus, 5:30 p.m., FS1

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

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

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