Assessing Atlanta United’s Goalkeeping Depth

On Easter Monday, Atlanta United revealed what many of us fear, captain Brad Guzan suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the game on Saturday. With the team reeling from the prospect of losing a club center piece for the remainder of the season, if not forever, the club turned inward to evaluate other possibilities to fill its giant boots in the near term.

For the second consecutive season, Atlanta United are facing severe problems at the rear in the goalkeeper’s position. Last year, newly arrived Rocco Rios Novo on loan from Lanus, called up by injury for a short spell to score valuable minutes in a CONCACAF Champions League match against him. Aguileans And off the bench against Orlando City. This year, the club’s outlook for the club is even bleaker as they look for long-term solutions to it Fill in for Team Leader Brad Guzanand short-term options to fill out a competent depth chart.

We got our first look at the club’s immediate plans on the training ground by Joe Patrick.

With the option of the original goalkeeper club number 3 Dylan Castanheira was training just a week before his Achilles tendon ruptureThe club now has only two goalkeepers on the senior list. Veteran Bobby Shuttleworth is the de facto initiator at this point, with newly signed team player Justin Garces getting an earlier-than-expected promotion from Atlanta United 2 to serve as a first-team reserve.

Justin Garces has always been thrown on fire when it comes to his development. The talented young goalkeeper got an instant start in the Atlanta United academy while also scoring minutes in Atlanta United’s inaugural 2 campaign. Now back after four hard years University of CaliforniaInitially, Garces did not get a chance to have a cup of coffee before he was called upon by the elderly. He brings a lot of experience in high-pressure situations to upgrade, so he will likely enjoy this opportunity. He is a strong player, selfless in the way he throws his body in front of the ball, and his confidence increases when in possession. With a competent defense in front of him, he can keep the ball off the goal, but he still learns the mental side of the game as much as organizing his defenders. He’ll need veterans to step up if called up in the next match. He’s as good, if not better, than our previous third-guards in the club’s history, but fans should realize that he’s still developing. The next few weeks could be a great test of your progress.

Next on the depth chart is Vicente Reyes. The 18-year-old international youth international signed his first professional contract away last season with Atlanta United 2 to be the steady anchor behind what was likely a revolving door for first-team goalkeepers getting vital minutes for exactly this situation. With Castanheira out this season and an early look at Major League Soccer, Reyes will be the start for the foreseeable future. He is tall and slender at just over 6’4 inches (1.93 metres) in height and has developed a lot of confidence in both the goalkeeper and the goalkeeper in possession. Should the club encounter another difficulty in the position, Reyes is the club’s last good choice for temporary promotion other than outside assistance.

The media in attendance soon noticed a third goalkeeper on the field and after a bit of digging he was introduced to Academy U19 goalkeeper Elijah Buford. This will likely be the first time that most Atlanta United fans have been happy to meet Buford.

Buford joined Noah Cobb as the second player born in 2005 to train with the first team in any significant capacity. He’s been with the club since he was an under-14 player and quickly rose through the system, replacing older guards on his way. Most fans who know him remember him as the goalkeeper who made the Reados player cry during the last generation of the Adidas Cup in 2019.

It has a good framework that is still under development. He has good speed, good hands and tracks well with the club focusing on goalkeepers’ ability to play the ball with their feet. He could potentially be in line for the next signed goalkeeper to a local contract if Vicente Reyes isn’t ahead of him in the organizational depth chart. This will be an excellent opportunity for Buford to test the club’s performance in senior coaching and also as a key supporter for Vicente Reyes with his 2s.

Nash Skoglund could also see time with 2s over the next few weeks if Buford is swapped for U-19 matches. Skoglund (2006) currently plays for the U-16 and U-17 teams. He is another fearless goalkeeper who has a good ability to stop shots and control his space. Like the other notable guards in this academy, he has a good sense of distribution and looks forward to finding his attackers at the top for quick counters. The academy is more aggressive in distribution from goalkeepers than fans see with the first team.

Jonathan Ransom is one of our top 5 goalkeepers currently available in the Atlanta United system. Ransom made an early name for himself as the 2019 Adidas Generation 12 Golden Glove Cup winner. Three years later, Ransom led his U-15 side to the semi-finals of the Adidas Generation Cup, having been close to Italy’s Valencia. Ransom has a strong presence on the field and has great instincts and reflexes for his age. His field vision is advancing rapidly and his distribution is also improving. Ransom has a lot of momentum at the moment and could jump into two age categories as the club challenges the top performers of the tournament.


To round out our in-house goalkeeper depth chart:

  1. Justin Garces (2000 – Atlanta United)
  2. Vicente Reyes (2003 – Atlanta United 2)
  3. Elijah Buford (2005 – U19)
  4. Nash Skoglund (2006 – 17)
  5. Jonathan Ransom (2008 – U-15) Generation Adidas U-15 Cup, Golden Glove winner of the 2019 Adidas U-12 Generation Championship

Not included in this list is Dagoberto Romero (2004) who recently signed an amateur contract to play alongside a growing group of Atlanta United prospects for Team Kennessaw. Apothios FC (NPSL). With their first game of the season on May 7, Romero may only be an option for Atlanta United 2 in their April 23 game against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds as the club likely sees Apothios FC as a rival boost to Romero at the start of his new season in Georgia. Southern University. Romero is a very talented young goalkeeper who was a regular on the Under-19 team and last summer he was honored to be named Academy Player of the Month for July.

It’s highly unlikely that players under Vicente Reyes’ depth scheme will get a chance to play above Atlanta United 2 this year, but continued misfortune with the health of the first team could create golden opportunities for the club’s youth to take giant leaps. Forward the timelines for their development. None of these players will be the answer for the rest of the season, but they could be the answer against Chattanooga, Miami and possibly even Montreal at the end of the month. Primary transfer window It closes on May 4th so a lot will happen before then.

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