Atlanta United Manager Selection Near Following Signing of Villalba
Atlanta United sign 21-year-old forward Hector “Tito” Villalba from Argentine Primera División club San Lorenzo ahead of the club’s inaugural season in the MLS next year. Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra bolsters his squad with attacking power as he prepares to name the club’s manager in the near future.
MLS Soccer News: Atlanta United announced the signing of 21-year-old forward Hector “Tito” Villalba from Argentine Primera División club San Lorenzo as a Young Designated Player, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
“Hector is an exciting player, and one of the top young talents in Argentina,” said Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra. “He is a powerful, pacey attacking player who can play out wide or up top. We really like his competitive and industrious style.”
Villalba joined San Lorenzo based in Buenos Aires at age 10, and developed through the club’s youth system. He made his professional debut under technical director Ricardo Caruso in August of 2012. At 21-years-old, Villalba has scored 16 goals in 100 first team appearances for San Lorenzo.
“We’re thrilled to have Hector’s signature. He has a high fitness capacity and an eye for goal,” said Bocanegra. “We think he will fit in perfectly within our system and within the MLS style of play.”
Villalba was a member of the 2013 San Lorenzo squad that finished first in the Primera Division’s Torneo Inicial, resulting in the club’s entry into the 2014 Copa Libertadores.
San Lorenzo four straight wins during the knockout stages to lift the trophy as club champions of CONMEBOL. Villalba started all 8 knock-out stage matches including both final legs of the competition. Villalba was also a member of the San Lorenzo squad that defeated Boca Juniors 4-1 in the Supercopa Argentina.
“We’re very happy to have Hector signed with our club,” said Atlanta United president Darren Eales. “We’ve been monitoring him for a long time and really like his talent and pedigree. Hector is moving into the prime of his career, so it’s exciting for us and for the future of the league that he has chosen to join Atlanta United and play in MLS.”
The next asset that is on Bocanegra’s radar is to name the manager for the club.
“We’ve got it down to a short list now. So, it’ll be coming,” Bocanegra said.
Atlanta currently has seven players on its roster, which have highlighted the attacking side of the squad.
“We feel pretty confident a coach will come in and be quite happy with him,” Bocanegra said referring to Villalba. “Same with Kenwyne Jones. Same with Chris McCann.”
Villalba will be on loan for the remainder of the year and will arrive in Atlanta in January.
Source/Photo Credit: Atlanta United FC