Someone in the Atlanta United front office must have a thing for music theory.
It’s a solid explanation for the syncopation Atlanta has shown with their offseason moves.
Don’t get it twisted, there’s always a plan and there are always many moving pieces but to drop a huge MLS trade rumor the day after a four-hour trade window is a rhythm that even Dave Brubeck would be proud of.
As you’ve most likely seen through twitter or the smokestack downtown (that is what it is for. You didn’t know?) Darlington Nagbe looks like he will be with The Five Stripes next season.
The 27-year-old is probably most visible to people east of Portland due to his time with the United States National Team. Opinions on Nagbe can vary depending on who you talk to, what time it is, and the current barometric pressure on Venus. What is not up for debate is his skill. He is a fantastic dribbler and very solid passer. The question now becomes: where does he fit if this all falls into place?
Atlanta is basically a giant clock at this point where parts are moving and getting changed at the drop of a hat. While many people are wrestling with the idea of Miguel Almiron leaving for millions eventually, rumors about Carlos Carmona’s possible departure have popped up (patience with Google Translate and/or being bilingual will help should you go down the Carmona transfer rabbit hole.) Carmona was a rock for Atlanta and would surely do the same in his home country after being gone for almost a decade.
Beyond the rumors, Atlanta has a holding midfielder-shaped hole in the starting lineup and how they plan to go about fixing that is up for debate. Carmona could possibly slide back behind Nagbe should the moves go that way, or Nagbe could replace Carmona should he leave. Maybe Larentowicz still signs with Atlanta? Maybe they find another player at the last minute in Italy like they did when they plucked Carmona from Atalanta in the 11th hour.
The point is that there are holes that need to be filled, but the number of solutions are more plentiful than the number of holes. It is one of the nicer things about soccer being such a global game: the answer can literally come from anywhere other than Antarctica and once penguins improve their lateral mobility who is to say someone won’t at least give them a tryout?
Nagbe is a proven player who could be very intriguing under Tata Martino and he probably won’t be the last move we see before 2018. There will probably be some incoming and outgoing movement and while Nagbe is an eyebrow raiser, try not to overthink it. United won’t break camp without a blueprint.
Many may have thought this offseason would be quiet after the expansion flurry last year. That’s what we get for thinking.