Atlanta United made another colossal splash in the Major League Soccer world on Thursday when the club announced the long-rumored signing of midfielder Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez.
The 2018 South American Footballer of the Year most recently played for Argentinian club River Plate of the Argentine Superleague. He’ll bring his brilliant goal-scoring talent to Atlanta, presumably replacing Miguel Almiron, who continues to seek the best offer for his transfer to a European club.
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For visual proof of just how good this 25-year-old can be, The Beautiful Game on Twitter shared this video of 10 spectacular goals scored by Martinez.
Here’s the elephant in the room: MLS rules state that each club can have a maximum of three Designated Players – players whose salary and signing fee exceed the league maximum – in an effort to keep one team from spending exorbitant amounts of money and essentially becoming the New York Yankees of the league. Though not yet announced, it’s all but certain that Martinez’s salary will be large enough to earn him Designated Player status.
This would make Martinez the fourth Designated Player on Atlanta United’s roster, with Ezequiel Barco, Josef Martinez and Almiron being the other three. According to the Voice of the Club, Mike Conti, the Five Stripes will have to shed one of these Designated Players by March 1 – presumably Almiron, who is reportedly getting offers from several English Premier League clubs.
Martinez will be formally announced Friday morning at 10 a.m. during a press conference at the club’s practice facility.Follow @Sean_Breslin