In what is just about the worst news Atlanta United fans could receive less than a week before the 2018 regular season begins, the club has announced the anticipated debut of Ezequiel Barco will be put on hold for at least a month.
The $15 million midfielder acquired in the offseason has a strained right quad and will be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks, Atlanta United FC announced Wednesday on its website. He suffered the injury during Tuesday’s practice session, the report added.
This is a colossal loss for the side, not just because of his much-anticipated debut but also because of the skills he brings to the table. We saw his talented striking abilities in the preseason, when he scored one goal in three games. Many believe that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But if there’s any roster capable of surviving such a blow, it’s this one. While the 18-year-old phenom rests up, a slew of talented goal-scorers will be expected to carry the load – familiar names like Villalba, Almiron and Martinez. As Dirty South Soccer notes, this might also be a good time to let 17-year-old Andrew Carleton get an opportunity and see what the youngster can do.
Fans of the Five Stripes, does this temper your expectations for the upcoming season? Let me know in the comments.Follow @Sean_Breslin