Thiago Almada still with Atlanta United, available to play Saturday against Toronto

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada (10) attempts to shoot During the first half against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, April 14, 2024.
 Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada (10) attempts to shoot During the first half against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, April 14, 2024. Miguel Martinez /

Amid several incorrect reports that a transfer price has been agreed to, Thiago Almada will be available to play in Atlanta United’s match against Toronto on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Interim manager Rob Valentino and midfielder Dax McCarty said they have seen no change in Almada’s demeanor or approach during the past few days. It’s important to note that no agreement on a transfer has been reached between Atlanta United and Eagle Soccer as of Thursday morning, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

“Yesterday, we went over some video stuff,” Valentino said. “We talked about some goals for the next couple games, just how we can get him in better spots, or how we can maximize his talents and also within conjunction of the team. We’ve had some good conversations, but I will say like everything’s normal.”

Almada didn’t play in Atlanta United’s previous match Saturday at St. Louis because of yellow-card accumulation. He has five goals and two assists in 16 appearances this season.

If parties are close to an agreement on a transfer, typically the selling team will choose not to use the player to reduce the risk of injury.

Atlanta United is in a challenging spot, though. It is in the ninth and final playoff spot in the East. Saturday’s match is the first of six in 18 days, including at New England on July 3 and at Real Salt Lake on July 6. Even if he’s not sold by then, Almada will miss most of the remainder of those matches because he is expected to be selected by Argentina to play in the Olympics in Paris. A good performance by Almada could increase any potential transfer fee.

McCarty said he hasn’t notice Almada looking forward, at all.

“Not one bit,” he said. “He’s here. He’s training. He’s preparing for games. He’s the same guy that he has been. And so his focus is, you know, as far as I can tell, 100% on Atlanta United. I’ve seen the rumors, too. But let’s take it one day at a time, right? We’ve got a big game coming up. As far as I know, he’ll be available for that game. And, you know, we’re looking forward to hopefully getting three points against Toronto.”

In addition to Almada, Atlanta United may benefit Saturday from the return of midfielder Bartosz Slisz from playing with Poland in the Euros. Poland didn’t advance out of the group stage.

Slisz’s first training session with the team was Thursday. He was the first player to walk onto the pitch. Valentino said no decision has been made yet whether Slisz will play Saturday after flying from Germany on Wednesday. Slisz has scored one goal in 13 appearances this season.

“He was in good spirits,” Valentino said. “He’s happy to be around the group, happy to be back. We’re happy to have him back. So hopefully he can be available for some kind of minutes.”

Work has started. Site work has started on the $23 million expansion of Atlanta United’s training center.

Ground hasn’t been broken yet.

The expansion will give dedicated space to Atlanta United 2 and Atlanta United’s academy teams, a production studio and spaces to help players train better, recover faster and improve their cognitive abilities.

Part of the work is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2025, with the rest finished by the spring of 2026 before the World Cup.

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 0

March 31 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 0

April 6 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

April 14 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

April 20 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

April 27 Atlanta United 1, Chicago 1

May 4 Minnesota 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte Independence 0 in U.S. Open Cup

May 11 D.C. United 3, Atlanta United 2

May 15 Cincinnati 1, Atlanta United 0

May 18 Atlanta United 1, Nashville 1

May 21 Atlanta United 0 (5), Charleston 0 (4) in U.S. Open Cup

May 25 LAFC 1, Atlanta United 0

May 29 Atlanta United 3, Miami 1

June 2 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 2

June 15 Atlanta United 2, Houston 2

June 19 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

June 22 Atlanta United 1, St. Louis 1

June 29 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 9 vs. Indy Eleven in U.S. Open Cup

July 13 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

July 26 vs. D.C. United in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 4 vs. Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup, 4 p.m.

Aug. 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Orlando, 6 p.m.