Darren Eales

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Atlanta president rips USMNT after Robinson injured

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Atlanta United president Darren Eales is enraged with U.S. Soccer after center back Miles Robinson pulled his hamstring on international duty.

Robinson did not play in Friday’s 7-0 win over Cuba, instead getting injured after the match in a “hard training session.

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Atlanta United play-by-play man Mike Conti has these quotes from Eales, who said Robinson is “touch and go” for Atlanta’s first round playoff match with New England on Saturday.

“He goes on international duty, and 11 o’clock at night after a game where he sat on the bench, they’re doing a hard training session and he’s doing sprints and he pulls his hamstring. Just really disappointed that he was put in that position.”

The timing couldn’t be much worse for Atlanta nor the USMNT considering its backs are having trouble with the athleticism of Canada. It’s a hindsight 20/20 thing, but either way it doesn’t look good for Gregg Berhalter’s staff even if injuries happen.

Agent: ‘Almiron did not leave Atlanta happy’ due to transfer process

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Taking into the consideration we’re taking an agent at his word, Daniel Campos had some parting shots for Atlanta United following Newcastle United’s purchase of Miguel Almiron for a club record fee.

Reporter Juan Arango translated a UnionFC800 interview with Campos transcribed by Roberto Rojas in Almiron’s home country of Paraguay.

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Atlanta’s Darren Eales played the negotiations very well, in our eyes, knowing that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley needed to buy Almiron, a 24-year-old target Rafa Benitez long-identified as an answer to the Magpies’ attacking woes.

Eales also knew he (likely) had to sell Almiron to get past Major League Soccer’s limit of three Designated Players, and also because Almiron was ready to try his hand abroad and the Five Stripes have been clear they won’t hold players back.

But Campos says Eales figure of $30-plus million was not realistic, and that the market quickly set the price tag. As Newcastle fans in a relegation fight still wait for Almiron’s debut, Campos claims the sale price turned out to be the same figure proffered early in the transfer window, and that “bigger” clubs wanted Almiron but only on loan. From Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle:

“Atlanta United put up a lot of obstacles to sell Miguel and we did not expect this kind of attitude from the club. Miguel Almiron did not leave Atlanta happy because of all the difficulties that the club put for him to get transferred.”

It’s also worth noting that Almiron is by far the crown jewel of Campos’ agency, and the agent will be well-served by both the transfer fee and following Almiron’s wishes.

There’s a large part of us that wonders what good it does Campos to complain publicly?

Atlanta president: It would take $33m for us to entertain Almiron sale

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Atlanta United superstar Miguel Almiron seems destined to leave the Five Stripes for a big European test after this season, but the 12-times capped Paraguayan national teamer won’t come cheap.

That’s one of the reasons reports of an $11 million move to Arsenal for the 24-year-old wizard were met with skepticism last week.

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One of those skeptics is particularly important to the discussion, because he’s Atlanta United president Darren Eales, via MLSSoccer.com:

“It’s funny, you know,” Eales told 92.9 The Game. “You’ve made it when they start to make up quotes from you. One was they called me Eagles and the other was the $11 million dollar fee. It would take triple that to even get out of bed to look at offers for Almiron.”

Part of that, of course, is playing the market, as Atlanta has been very clear it won’t stand in the way of taking the stars it develops from reaching their potential.

Almiron cost Atlanta about $8 million, and has been subject to transfer rumors involving AC Milan and Newcastle United in addition to Arsenal.

Back then, the fee was quoted as $24 million, which made reports of an $11 million an eye-popping and eye-rolling experience well before Eales spoke his mind.

Atlanta has been linked with a move for Pity Martinez should a suitable offer arrive for Almiron, who wants to a move to Europe.

If there’s not at least a 2 in front of the fee, if not a 3, it would be stunning.

Atlanta United still planning stadium debut on July 30

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ATLANTA (AP) Atlanta United President Darren Eales said Tuesday construction on Mercedes Benz Stadium remains on schedule for the MLS team to play the first game in the facility on July 30.

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“At this stage it is still as planned,” Eales said.

Even so, Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank acknowledged the complex retractable roof on the $1.5 billion stadium has been a challenge.

“There’s always an issue with a roof that is that complicated and large,” Blank said. “It’s not an issue, it’s just the complexity. A roof like that has never been built in the world, and when you build something that iconic and unique, it does take more time, more schedule, it’s more money and more everything, but the end product for the next 40 years in Atlanta is going to be worth it.”

Blank also owns the NFL Atlanta Falcons, who will share the facility with Atlanta United.

The Falcons said last week they expected an update on the timeline for the stadium within a few days.

Blank, Eales and MLS Commissioner Dan Garber on Tuesday celebrated the unveiling of Atlanta United’s training complex in suburban Cobb County.

Garber said in a ceremony at the training facility the MLS “can’t wait to get into Mercedes Benz Stadium in September.” He said later he misspoke when he said September.

“We are still focused to getting in as planned,” Garber said of Atlanta United’s July 30 home game against Orlando City scheduled for the new stadium. “The goal is to be into the stadium in late summer, so don’t read too much into my comments about September. Chalk it up to the commissioner getting too excited up on the podium.”

Atlanta United’s temporary home facility is Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Atlanta United makes Martinez loan a permanent transfer

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It was always likely that Atlanta United would turn Josef Martinez’s loan from Torino into a permanent move, but there’s something especially amusing about the club doing it so soon.

“We’re taking him before you change you mind!”

Martinez, 23, has five goals in his first three MLS matches, including a hat trick against Minnesota United and a brace against Chicago.

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That’s a goal every 52 minutes for the diminutive Venezuelan striker. He won’t be expected to match that moving forward, but it’s a nice start to life in Georgia.

From ATLUtd.com:

“The loan deal had an option to make the transfer permanent which we have now triggered as planned,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. “Josef has been a fantastic addition to our club and it’s clear he has the ability to continuing making an impact in our league.”

It’s a wise move for any number of reasons, the least of which being a virtuoso season at his age could net a wild transfer fee down the line.