Ezequiel Barco declined to speak about his two-game absence from Atlanta United on Monday, the midfielder’s first interview since the disciplinary action taken by the team.
Barco was not part of Atlanta United’s 18-player availability against the D.C. United and Montreal the past two games.
Manager Gerardo Martino enacted the discipline, saying only it was not for on-field performance.
“Just a coach’s decision,” Barco said through an interpreter at an availability for the upcoming MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium on Wednesday. “That is all I’m going to say.”
When asked whether it was strange that he would be held out since he played the previous 15 games, Barco again declined to be specific on the matter.
“It’s a coach’s decision and I respect that just like ever player must,” Barco said.
Martino on Monday said acts of indiscipline have consequences. When he is ready and the club decides, Barco will return. He again didn’t give a timeline on how long Barco would be out. He said only he wanted to see how the 19-year old responded.
Asked what he learned while out, Barco said he would earn his way back into the lineup.
“I’m going to keep training and working hard every day to work my way back into the starting 11,” Barco said.
Barco will play in the MLS All-Star Game despite the team-imposed penalty.
Barco, the most expensive transfer in MLS history when the Five Stripes paid a reported $15 million for his rights from Independiente, has four goals and one assist in 16 appearances this season.