MLS playoffs: Get to know Atlanta United’s players

Atlanta United will host Columbus in the first round of the MLS playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

For those who are new supporters of the team, here’s a guide to the players that helped the Five Stripes become the first MLS expansion team since Seattle in 2009 to clinch a spot in the postseason.

Miguel Almiron 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Asuncion, Paraguay

Age: 23

Twitter: N/A

Appearances/starts: 30/27.

One of the team’s three Designated Players. ... Signed from Lanus in Argentina’s first division. … Scored nine goals with 13 assists. … Very fast, has great vision and is tenacious on defense. … Reportedly a target of clubs in Europe. … Returned from hamstring injury that cost him four games to play in second half of 2-2 draw with Toronto.

Mikey Ambrose 

Position: Left fullback

Home: El Paso, Texas

Age: 23

Twitter: @mikeyambrose3

Appearances/starts: 7/2.

Atlanta United acquired him in the expansion draft from Orlando City. … Very fast and has done well in spot starts at left back.

Yamil Asad 

Position: Midfielder/Forward

Home: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Age: 23

Twitter: @yamilasad11

Appearances/starts: 32/31.


Like many of the midfielders on the roster, he can be deployed at a variety of positions. … Very quick with a solid right-footed shot. … Atlanta United acquired him on a loan from Velez Sarsfield in Argentina. … Finished regular season with seven goals and 13 assists. …A tough defender in the Gerardo Martino’s pressing system.

Mark Bloom 

Position: Right fullback

Home: Marietta

Age: 29

Twitter: @markbloom21

Appearances/starts: 2/2.

Can play right or left fullback, but prefers to play on the right side. … Atlanta United acquired him in a trade following the expansion draft. … Played at Lassiter High and Berry College.

Bobby Boswell

Position: Centerback.

Home: Tampa.

Age: 34

Twitter: @bobbyboswell 

Appearances/starts: 1/0 (with Atlanta United).

Acquired in a trade with D.C. United. … Has yet to make an appearance for Atlanta United. … MLS Defender of the Year in 2006. … Two appearances in MLS Cup with Houston in 2011 and ’12.

Andrew Carleton 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Powder Springs

Age: 17

Twitter: @andrewcarleton7

Appearances/starts: 1/0.

The team’s first Homegrown Player signing. … Atlanta United beat out at least one club in Europe to sign him. … A very confident player who plays older than his 16 years. … 

Carlos Carmona 

Position: Defensive midfielder

Home: Coquimbo, Chile

Age: 30

Twitter: N/A

Appearances/starts: 31/30.

Signed after Atalanta in Italy terminated his contract by mutual consent. … Made more than 150 appearances with two different teams in Italy. … Very calm on the ball. … Formed a solid partnership with Jeff Larentowicz in the center of the field. … Scored two goals with two assists.

Greg Garza 

Position: Left fullback

Home: Grapevine, Texas

Age: 26

Twitter: @gmgarza4

Appearances/starts: 26/25.

Acquired on a season-long loan with an option to purchase from Tijuana in Mexico’s first division. … A good crosser of the ball. … Has missed the past few games after sustaining a series of hamstring injuries in September. … Has two goals and five assists.

Chris Goslin 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Locust Grove

Age: 17

Twitter: @chrisgoslin17

Appearances/starts: 0/0.

The team’s second Homegrown Player signing. … Has represented the U.S. on a variety of levels of youth national teams. … Product of Georgia United.

Julian Gressel 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany

Age: 23

Twitter: @juliangressel

Appearances/starts: 32/24.

Selected with the eight pick in the first round of the SuperDraft. … Can play most positions in the midfield. … Favorite to win MLS Rookie of the Year. … Has five goals and nine assists. … Fast and tough with an example being him chasing down Jozy Altidore and shouldering him off the ball in Sunday’s draw.

Brad Guzan

Position: Goalkeeper

Home: Evergreen Park, Ill.

Age: 33.

Twitter: @bguzan.

Appearances/starts: 14/14.

Acquired from Middlesbrough in the English Premier League. … Had a shutout streak of 541 minutes, sixth longest in league history. … Good with his feet at distributing the ball. 

Harrison Heath 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Newcastle-under-Lyme, England

Age: 21

Twitter: @harrisonheathy1

Appearances/starts: 1/0.

Acquired in a trade with Orlando City, where he played previous three seasons. … He is the son of Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath, who is formerly the coach at Orlando. 

Kenwyne Jones 

Position: Forward

Home: Point Fortin, Trinidad and Tobago

Age: 32

Twitter: @kenwynejonestt

Appearances/starts: 17/5.

One of the first players signed by Atlanta United. … Scored 86 goals as a player in England in the Premier League, Championship and League One. … At 6-foot-2, he is a big target in the penalty box for crosses or on corner kicks. … Has two goals this season.

Alec Kann 

Position: Goalkeeper

Home: Decatur

Age: 27

Twitter: @akann90

Appearances/starts: 18/18.

Acquired in the expansion draft from Sporting Kansas City, where he made seven appearances. … Started team’s first 18 games before sustaining an injury at Columbus.

Kevin Kratz 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Eschweiler, Germany

Age: 30

Twitter: @kevinkratz8

Appearances/starts: 20/5.

Grew up in the Bayer Leverkusen academy in Germany. … Signed with MLS and joined Philadelphia last season. … Was acquired by Atlanta United in a trade. … Excellent at free kicks.

Jeff Larentowicz 

Position: Midfielder/Centerback

Home: West Chester, Pa.

Age: 34

Twitter: N/A

Appearances/starts: 33/30.

Signed as a free agent. … Has more than 300 appearances in MLS. … Won the MLS Cup with Colorado. … Can play defensive midfielder or centerback. … Pairs well with Carmona in the middle of the field.

Josef Martinez 

Position: Forward

Home: Valencia, Valenzuela

Age: 24

Twitter: @JosefMartinez17

Appearances/starts: 20/17.

Acquired as a Designated Player on loan from Torino in Italy’s first division. … Can play as a lone striker, second striker or winger. … Has 19 goals this season … Very fast, a very good leaper and good with either foot.

Chris McCann 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Dublin, Ireland

Age: 30

Twitter: @cjmccann7

Appearances/starts: 23/9.

Among the first players signed by Atlanta United. … Spent majority of his career in England, with more than 350 appearances for Wigan Athletic and Burnley. … Has played across the midfield and at left fullback.

Tyrone Mears 

Position: Right fullback

Home: Manchester, England

Age: 34

Twitter: N/A

Appearances/starts: 20/16.

Acquired in a trade with Seattle. … Notched the first assist in team history. … Has one goal this season, an important one that tied Philadelphia 2-2. … Made more than 200 appearances in England playing for teams in the Premier League and Championship.

Michael Parkhurst 

Position: Centerback

Home: Cranston, R.I.

Age: 33

Twitter: @mfparkhurst

Appearances/starts: 33/33.

Team captain. … Acquired in a trade with Columbus, where he was also captain. … Reads games very well and has formed solid partnership with Leandro Gonzalez Pirez in the center of the defense. 

Jacob Peterson 

Position: Midfielder

Home: Portage, Mich.

Age: 31

Twitter: @jacobpeterson37

Appearances/starts: 10/1.

Signed as a free agent after spending the previous five seasons with Sporting Kansas City. … Has nine appearances with three goals.

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez 

Position: Centerback

Home: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Age: 24

Twitter: N/A

Appearances/starts: 32/32.

Acquired from Estudiantes in Argentina’s first division. … Made more than 100 appearances for clubs in Argentina and Belgium. … Has played for Argentina’s youth national teams. … Does have a tendency to pick up yellow cards because of his aggressive style.

Kyle Reynish 

Position: Goalkeeper

Home: Valencia, Calif.

Age: 33

Twitter: @kylereynish24

Appearances/starts: 2/2.

Veteran has spent time with many MLS clubs. … Acquired from the New York Red Bulls in a trade.

Miles Robinson 

Position: Centerback/fullback

Home: Arlington, Mass.

Age: 20

Twitter: @_milesrobinson_

Appearances/starts: 0/0.

Selected No. 2 in the first round of the SuperDraft. … All-ACC performer at Syracuse. … An aerial threat on set pieces. ... Has yet to make an appearance in league games this season.

Alex Tambakis 

Position: Goalkeeper

Home: Athens, Greece

Age: 24

Twitter: N/A

Appearances/starts: 1/0.

Atlanta United’s first signed player. … Came from Greek-power Panathinaikos. … Mother is American. … Has one appearance this season.

Brandon Vazquez 

Position: Forward

Home: Chula, Vista, Calif.

Age: 19

Twitter: @brvndonv

Appearances/starts: 13/0.

Acquired from Tijuana where he was a teammate of Garza. … Has played at striker and as right midfielder. … Has one goal and one assist in 13 league appearances. … Sustained a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for past few games.

Hector Villalba 

Position: Midfielder.

Home: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Age: 23

Twitter: @titovillalba15

Appearances/starts: 34/34.

The team’s first Designated Player. … Has an inconsistent first touch but it one of the faster players in MLS. … Played at San Lorenzo in Argentina, a club he joined 10 years ago. … Scored 13 goals with 11 assists.

Anton Walkes 

Position: Centerback/Defensive midfielder

Home: Lewisham, England

Age: 20

Twitter: @antonwalkes

Appearances/starts: 20/17.

Acquired on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. … Can play centerback or defensive midfielder. … Fast with a good passing range.

Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu 

Position: Midfielder/Fullback

Home: Bellingham, Mass.

Age: 22

Twitter: @andrew_w_o

Appearances/starts: 0/0.

Selected in third round of SuperDraft. …. Can play in midfield or fullback. … Captained the Harvard team. … No appearances in league games this season.


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