Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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

Leave a comment

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.

[ MORE: Villa hires manager, adds Terry to staff

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.

Reports: Atlanta eyes River Plate star as Almiron replacement (video)

1 Comment

One of the more intriguing questions in Major League Soccer is what will Atlanta United do with the impending windfall that will arrive following the presumed sale of Miguel Almiron.

Almiron, 25, is looking for a European adventure in 2019 and has no shortage of suitors. He’ll net a significant fee, likely an MLS record.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

Multiple reports say the Five Stripes are looking at Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez, the 25-year-old Argentine playmaker with two caps for the Albiceleste. One report claims the move is “very close,” while The Athletic reports there is “still a lot to do” for the move to happen.

According to Transfermarkt, Martinez’s transfer value is about $5 million more than Almiron.

It’s not quite like-for-like, as Martinez is a more prolific finisher at the club level than Almiron was when he joined Atlanta.

Almiron scored nine times between 74 matches between Lanus and Cerro Porteno, while Martinez has 30 goals in 184 matches at a higher level with Huracan and River Plate (Lanus and both of Martinez’s clubs play in Argentina, while Cerro Porteno is in Almiron’s native Paraguay).

Tata Martino is expected to leave Atlanta, but perhaps this means that either the manager could be open to return or that United is eyeing another free-flowing, attack-minded boss.

‘Fierce but friendly’ stray dog an ‘assistant coach’ in Paraguay

@club2demayo
Leave a comment

Talk about a new breed.

Dog puns. Be ready.

Don’t paws any further on the headline of The Guardian’s latest tail.

[ MORE: Jermaine Jones retires ]

A stray — or at least formerly stray — dog named Tesapara is being hailed as an assistant coach on Paraguayan side Club Sporting 2 de Mayo.

No word on whether he favors the use of pug goals.

And Tesapara is being hailed as a lucky dog for multiple reasons; For one thing, he now has a nice home. And his arrival has come with a terrific run of form for the club.

Here are some quotes from head coach Carlos Saguier, the former Paraguay national team coach and player who has also led Monterrey and Queretaro in Liga MX. From The Guardian:

“Tesapara is the guardian of the club,” Saguier told the Paraguayan newspaper Crónica. “She lives there – when the gates close she is fierce but by day she is friendly. She accompanies me on the pitch, in the corridors, in the office.”

The stray animal was seen around the club’s Monumental Río Parapití ground before Saguier arrived but became the head coach’s “companion” when he offered her a piece of an empanada. “She has been by my side ever since,” Saguier added. “She is my partner in adventure with this club.”

As new Paraguay national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio scouts for new domestic players, perhaps he can use a fiercely loyal South American dog.

Paraguay hires former Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A highly coveted head coaching candidate has come off the board.

Former Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has landed with Paraguay, the federation announced Monday. According to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, Osorio had offers from Costa Rica, South Korea and Egypt, as well as Brazilian clubs Santos and Palmeiras. Mexico offered Osorio a new contract after the World Cup, but he declined.

Galarcep also revealed that the United States National Team did not make an offer to Osorio, because new General Manager Earnie Stewart has yet to begin interviewing candidates. Osorio’s home country of Colombia was also not apparently among those who made an offer, although he was thought to be in the running to replace Jose Pekerman.

According to Galarcep, Paraguay made the most attractive offer to Osorio, giving him “lots of control” over the squad and program.

Paraguay missed out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup by just two points in CONMEBOL qualifying, falling narrowly to Venezuela on the final matchday of the cycle. The team has a promising backbone of youth to it, led by Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron and New York Red Bulls midfielder Kaku, who made the one-time switch from Argentina in May and earned his first cap in June.

Former manager Francisco “Chiqui” Arce was let go when the team did not qualify for the World Cup, but was hired soon after by Paraguayan club General Diaz. Paraguay has played just two matches in all of 2018, falling to both the United States and Japan in friendlies.

Osorio’s time with Mexico had ups and downs, but he was generally considered a successful boss. Known as a lineup tinkerer, Osorio had a 33-10-9 record with Mexico, and defeated Germany in the World Cup, helping to stunningly boot the defending champions in the group stage.

Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay agree on 2030 World Cup bid

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
Leave a comment

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have agreed on 12 cities where they want to host the centenary World Cup in 2030.

The Argentine Football Association said on Monday the plan would grant eight cities to Argentina and two each for Paraguay and Uruguay. The names of the cities were not disclosed.

[ MORE: Man City-Liverpool recap | 5 things | Pep reacts ]

Bidding is not due to open for another four years but leaders of all three national bodies say they want to make a joint bid.

The South American nations are expected to face tough competition for the hosting rights of a tournament that will likely feature 48 teams.

Uruguay staged the first World Cup in 1930 and has long been expected to seek hosting rights with Argentina. Paraguay later joined the initiative.

Argentine soccer officials said they met with national captain Lionel Messi during a recent trip to Spain.

“At all times we found (Messi) willing to help us spread the word about the possibility that the three countries organize the World Cup,” Argentina’s Sport Secretary Carlos Mac Allister said. “It’s very important for us to feel that we have the support of players and that it is completely unattached from any political connotation.”

Messi and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez have already publicly backed the plan. During a recent Argentina-Spain friendly, Messi was expected to wear a bracelet that read “2030 together,” but he was sidelined due to an injury. The bracelet was worn instead by Javier Mascherano.

So far, the co-organizers have not said how much the tournament would cost if they were to win the bid.

“Today, we can’t say what the final costs will be to each of our countries, but it cannot be measured only in the building of infrastructure,” Uruguay Sports Secretary Fernando Caceres said.

“There’s an intangible measure, which is how much a country earns in coexistence, in integration, identity, and the construction of citizenship by hosting an event of this magnitude.”