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Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

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Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Atlanta planting another large bid for Uruguayan defender

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Atlanta United has made it a habit in its year-plus in Major League Soccer of pulling off big moves, and another significant transfer could be in the works.

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A report out of Argentina has suggested that the Eastern Conference side has placed a $9 million bid for Uruguayan outside back Lucas Olaza, who currently plays with Argentine side Talleres de Cordoba.

The 23-year-old came up through the ranks of Uruguayan side River Plate, before playing in Brazil, Spain and eventually Argentina.

Olaza has also represented Uruguay at the youth international level, previously going to the Under-20 World Cup in 2013, where the South America side finished runners’ up.

Report: Atlanta United sign Barco in record MLS deal

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Atlanta United aren’t content with a hugely successful inaugural season in MLS in 2017. Oh no.

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Tata Martino is set to land a long-term target in Ezequiel Barco, with the Argentinian teenager from Independiente said to cost a record transfer fee of $15 million for a Major League Soccer franchise.

Barco, 18, helped Independiente win the Copa Sudamericana, scoring the wunning goal in the final against Flamengo.

Multiple reports say the deal also includes a 30 percent sell-on clause should Atlanta sell the player by 2019 and 10 percent if he’s sold in 2020. The deal is said to be the second largest in Independiente history after they sold Sergio Aguero to Atletico Madrid in 2006.

This transfer continues ATL’s philosophy of giving young, attack-minded South American players a chance to showcase their talents in MLS.

Atlanta also hold the second-highest MLS transfer fee record when they signed Miguel Almiron for $9.2 million, just behind the $10 million Toronto FC reportedly paid AS Roma for Michael Bradley.

Last season the trio of Almiron, Josef Martinez and Hector Villalba tore MLS defenses apart.

Judging by the video below, Barco will do the same in 2018 as he can play on the left or in a central attacking midfield role.

LA FC welcomed to MLS by Atlanta United with friendly wager loss

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Los Angeles FC may think again in the future the next time they decide to challenge another club to a bet.

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On Saturday night, ahead of the NFL Playoffs matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Wildcard round LA FC sent out a tweet to Atlanta United for a friendly bet (below).

The bet was pretty simple… whichever city’s team lost that club would have to show some sort of display of the other club’s colors.

Needless to say, things to go according to plan for the city of Los Angeles…

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The two sides will have an opportunity to settle their differences on the field in early April when Atlanta hosts LAFC from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Independiente rejects Atlanta United’s $12 million bid for Barco, wants $24 million

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If or when Atlanta United signs Ezequiel Barco, it will seemingly shatter the Major League Soccer transfer record.

According to multiple reports in Argentina, Independiente executive Pablo Moyano told Fox Sports Argentina radio that the club had rejected a $12 million bid from Atlanta United for the 18-year-old starlet Barco, and it wouldn’t settle for less than $24 million.

Moyano’s reasoning for the statement came from Barco’s performance in the Maracana last week, where he scored a penalty kick and led Independiente to the Copa Sudamericana title, the club’s first continental title since winning the same competition in 2010. Barco scored also in the Sudamericana semifinal against Libertad.

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It’s been reported that Barco has asked the club to accept Atlanta United’s offer so it may be a matter of when the deal becomes official rather than if, but we can be sure that the bid will rise above $12 million. Perhaps the clubs will meet in the middle at $18 million, but it will break the transfer record broken by Atlanta United just last year signing Miguel Almiron, who came with a reported $8 million fee.