Kenwyne Jones

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Premier League vet Kenwyne Jones retires at age 33

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It wasn’t the season that Kenwyne Jones had expected in his first Major League Soccer season, but the veteran Trinidad & Tobago striker had himself quite the career.

[ MORE: Miguel Almiron wins MLS Newcomer of the Year ]

Jones, 33, announced his retirement on Monday after boasting an extensive career in England prior to finishing up his playing with Atlanta United.

Atlanta opted not to renew Jones’ contract with the club after scoring twice in 17 appearances this season for the expansion side.

The Trinidadian posted the following message to supporters on Twitter this afternoon.

Jones spent nine seasons in the Premier League, including stints with Southampton, Stoke City and Sunderland.

Additionally, the forward played for Al Jazira from UAE in 2016 before moving on loan to Central in his native Trinidad prior to his arrival in Atlanta’s debut MLS season.

MLS Snapshot: Atlanta United 1-3 D.C. United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Atlanta has been one of the most exciting teams in MLS over the opening two months of the season, but with a bit of luck and grit D.C. United spoiled the newcomers’ fun on Sunday afternoon. It was all the home side early on in the match, which was spearheaded by Kenwyne Jones‘ emphatic header, but D.C. responded well with some good pressure of their own. The win for D.C. moves Ben Olsen’s club into eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Atlanta still holds the sixth and final playoff position through eight matches as Gerardo Martino’s side sits on 11 points.

[ MORE: MLS roundup from Saturday’s action ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Hosts apply pressure and hit D.C. where it hurts — This is exactly why Atlanta brought in Kenwyne Jones. Big body and deadly heading ability. Can’t stop that.

25′ — D.C. unexpectedly pulls level — It certainly wasn’t how Lamar Neagle drew it up but he and D.C. somehow equalized before the half hour mark after some sloppy Atlanta defending.

36′ — Acosta runs wild — Atlanta will probably want to look back on this moment and make sure they do a better job covering the diminutive attacker next time.

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Men of the match: Luciano Acosta

Goalscorers: Kenwyne Jones (9′), Michael Parkhurst — OG (25′), Luciano Acosta (36′), Sebastian Le Toux (55′)

Atlanta United signs DP Almiron to align strong “front four”

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A neat feature of Major League Soccer’s expansion is the ability to watch a team take shape.

Atlanta United doubles that fascination thanks to Tata Martino helming the project along with club president Darren Eales and technical director Carlos Bocanegra.

[ MORE: FA Cup draw pits 8 PL sides ]

With the expansion draft looming, Atlanta has made a big addition in the form of its second Designated Player. Martino has tabbed 23-year-old Miguel Almiron, a 7-times capped Paraguay playmaker who was tipped to join Arsenal as recently as August.

From AtlUtd.com:

“Miguel is a player I’ve long admired,” Atlanta United head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said. “He is a very skillful player with excellent technique and great vision. He is currently one of the best players in Argentina’s top league and we’re really excited that he’s joining Atlanta United.”

Almiron was primarily a left winger at Argentine club Lanus this season, but can also play centrally as an attacking midfielder or on the right.

With fellow DP Hector Villalba in the mix as an attacking mid and Kenwyne Jones the projected center forward, Atlanta has a heck of a front line coming together (And may be close to acquiring goalkeeper Sean Johnson from Chicago).

Put it this way: it’s December 5, and an expansion team can already boast the following front five.

Johnson

XXXX — XXXX — XXXX — XXXX

Chris McCann — XXXX

Junior Burgos  — Villalba — Almiron

Jones

Now imagine that Brad Evans and/or Christian Dean are left unprotected in the expansion draft, as speculated by MLSSoccer.com. That’s a respectable if not relatively successful looking squad come day one (and before ex-Barca boss Martino gets Leo Messi on loan (of course we’re 100 percent kidding)).

Dirty South Soccer also shares reports that Martino could land three players, including a left and center back, from Argentine standouts Newell’s Old Boys.

Valenzuela is an 18-year-old left back who has cracked into the first team at Newell’s this year. Valenzuela is a 21-year-old center back who was in the mix as a young player when Martino managed the squad in 2013 prior to leaving for Barcelona.

Imagine if Atlanta could land, against probability and the player’s statements on his near future, Andres Guardado as a third DP to pair with McCann or another defensive midfielder.

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CONCACAF Champions League: Sporting KC comes back to draw 2-2 in Trinidad & Tobago

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Sporting KC had a roller coaster evening, one that finished level on the road in Trinidad & Tobago.

In their first CONCACAF Champions League group stage match of the competition, KC visited Central FC, a team that lost 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps two weeks ago.

After a scoreless first 45, the goals began to pepper in. The visitors went 1-0 up thanks to Seth Sinovic…sort of. The Kansas City native burst into the left side of the box and was recipient of a fortuitous touch off a Central defender.

The lead would not last long. Marcus Joseph equalized three minutes later, and then two minutes after that, Kenwyne Jones struck.

Jones joined Atlanta United a month ago, but with the club not playing MLS fixtures until next season, he returned to his home country with Central FC on loan to keep sharp, and continues to terrorize other MLS teams in the process.

With a pair of goals in three minutes, Central was suddenly on top, but that lead wouldn’t last long either. Kevin Ellis would bring the visitors back level, earning KC a road point in their group stage opener.

Atlanta United land first major signing ahead of 2017 MLS debut

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With less than eight months until their Major League Soccer debut in March 2017, Atlanta United’s roster is slowly but surely taking shape.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Earlier this month, technical director Carlos Bocanegra announced the capture of Irish midfielder Chris McCann from Wigan, bringing the team’s roster up to five players. There are also constant rumors of Andres Guardado and Carlos Vela, the big fish. On Friday, the first major signing of Atlanta’s MLS preparations was made official: Trinidad and Tobago international and Premier League veteran Kenwyne Jones (40 goals in seven seasons in England’s top division).

Jones, who’ll turn 32 in October, will spend the remainder of 2016 on loan with Trinidadian side Central FC, whom he’ll represent in the group stage of this year’s CONCACAF Champions League, against MLS sides Sporting Kansas City and the Vancouver Whitecaps. The details of Jones’ contract were not announced, but he has likely signed a Designated Player contract which will then be “paid down” with targeted allocation money, leaving three open DP slots ahead of the team’s debut next year.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — Portland vs. Seattle the main event ]

Atlanta also announced this week the first kit sponsorship in franchise history, a multi-year partnership with American Family Insurance.