Atlanta United sign Lisandro López – 145 goals for Porto and Lyon

Free transfer from Argentina

MLS club Atlanta United have confirmed the transfer of 37-year-old striker Lisandro López. The right-footed player moves free of charge from the Argentine first division racing club to the capital of the state of Georgia, where he joins his compatriot and future head coach Gabriel Heinze. Between 2005 and 2013 López was under contract with FC Porto and Olympique Lyon and scored 145 goals in Europe during these two stations. With the FCP, López was also crowned Portuguese champion four times in a row and was the top scorer in 2007/08.

“Lisandro is an experienced goalscorer who will step up our attack and we are delighted to bring a player with his experience and qualities to our club. He brings leadership qualities and a winning mentality with him, having won several league and cup titles in the course of his career, and we believe that he has a positive influence on our younger squad, “said Carlos Bocanegra, Vice-President Atlantas, quoted on the club’s website.

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Lisandro López is new reinforcement of Gabriel Heinze’s Atlanta United

Atlanta United announced the signing of Lisandro Lopez, who arrives with the pass in his possession from Racing Club.

Licha will be directed by Gabriel Heinze and will share the roster with other Argentines: Franco Escobar, Eric Remedi, Fernando Meza, Marcelino Moreno and Esequiel Barco.

Lisandro is a veteran scorer who will reinforce our attack and we are pleased to add a player of his experience and qualities to our club”Said Carlos Bocanegra, Atlanta United Vice President and Athletic Director.

He brings leadership and a winning mentality, having won several League and Cup titles during his career, and we feel he will have a positive influence on our young roster.“Added the leader.

Licha López will join the team and will occupy an international position pending her International Transfer Certificate (CTI) and P-1 Visa.

Lisandro, 37, joins Atlanta with more than 600 pro games and 244 club-level goals. He has also represented the Argentine National Team 7 times. Won 5 league titles and 5 Cups during an 18-year career playing in Argentina, Portugal, France and Brazil.

He played 455 First Division matches, in addition to 47 matches in the UEFA Champions League, 6 in the UEFA Europa League, 30 in the CONMEBOL Libertadores and 6 in the CONMEBOL Sudamericana.

He spent the last five years playing for Racing Club in the Argentine Super League, the club where he made his professional debut in 2003. López led Racing to win the league in 2018-19 and was the tournament’s top scorer with 17 goals. He played in 134 matches and scored 48 goals in all competitions from 2016 to 2020.

The Rafael Obligado-born man joined Racing in 2001 at the age of 18 and made his debut in the Primera in 2003. He scored 26 goals in 71 league games from 2003 to 2005 and was the top scorer in the 2004 Apertura with 18 goals.

In April 2005, López signed with FC Porto and helped the club win four consecutive Primeira Liga titles from 2005-06 to 2008-09. He won the league’s Golden Boot during the 2007-08 season and was named Best Player of the Primeira Liga, scoring a personal record of 24 goals. In four seasons, López played 143 for Porto and scored 62 goals, including 28 appearances and 13 goals in the UEFA Champions League, and won two Portuguese Cups and one Super Cup.

López signed with Lyon in the summer of 2009 and scored in his Ligue 1 debut on August 8. He scored a double in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against Bordeaux, advancing Lyon to the semi-finals where they lost to Bayern Munich. Lyon finished second in the Ligue 1 table in 2009-10 with Lopez scoring 15 goals and winning the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award. He scored at least 11 goals in each of his four league seasons in France and registered 168 matches and 82 goals in all competitions, including 19 matches and six goals in the UEFA Champions League. He scored the only goal in the 2012 Coupe de France final against US Quevilly to win the cup for Lyon.

In August 2013, López signed with Al-Gharafa from the Qatar Stars League where he scored 16 goals in 48 games in all competitions between 2012-15. In February 2015, he joined Internacional from Serie A in Brazil and scored 10 goals in 39 games before returning to his first club, Racing, in January 2016.

López was called up for the first time to the Argentina National Team by technical director José Pékerman and made his debut on March 10, 2005 in a friendly against Mexico. The forward played 7 games for Argentina and scored his only international goal on August 12, 2009 in a friendly against Russia.


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Atlanta receives ticket to participate in Concachampions in 2021

CHICAGO – Atlanta United received a ticket to the Concacaf Champions League scheduled for next year, based on a decision announced Friday by the board of directors of the United States Soccer Federation.

The Major League Soccer team obtained the vacant ticket after the United States Cup tournament was not held in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Atlanta won the cup in 2019.

In this year’s Champions League quarterfinals, United are 3-0 behind America for the second leg, which will take place on December 16 in Orlando, Florida. The first leg was held on March 11, before the global health crisis left the contest in limbo.

In the other quarterfinal matches, Olimpia of Honduras is measured against Montreal Impact; Tigres against New York City FC, and Cruz Azul against Los Angeles FC.

Philadelphia earned a place in the 2021 Champions League for being the best team of the regular season in MLS. Portland qualified as the winner of the MLS is Back tournament.

The last ticket will be for the winner of the MLS final, which takes place this Saturday between Columbus and Seattle.


Alan Pulido’s Sporting Kansas City will meet Minnesota United on Thursday

LOS ANGELES – The Western Conference semifinal game between Sporting Kansas City, where Mexican Alan Pulido plays, and Minnesota United, scheduled for Wednesday, has been run one day to Thursday, December 3, according to Major League Soccer.

In the middle of a press conference with Kansas coach Peter Vermes, the communication department made the change official.

“I understand the situation and I think that when you see how much this year has been and how things have changed, we have done a good job of adjusting and adapting to everything,” said Peter Vermes.

The change was not due to positive cases for COVID-19, but was a matter of the television station. Now, the game will be broadcast nationwide in the United States.

“The other part of this is that we are continually looking to change the impact of the game, we are part of the entertainment industry, so looking for prime time is good for MLS, we will do what we have to do to prepare,” added Vermes.

Due to the situation, the Western Conference Final was also moved to Monday, December 7, instead of the original date of Sunday 6. This so that the finalist team has the 3 minimum regulatory days between one game and another.

The reality is that whether Kansas or Minnesota advance to the Conference Finals, they will have fewer days off than their rival. The other semifinalists in the West, Seattle Sounders and Dallas FC, will play this Tuesday, so they will have two extra days of recovery compared to their opponent.

On the Eastern Conference side, the date of Sunday December 6 remains for the Conference Final between the Columbus Crew and New England Revolution.


Nani cried after Orlando’s elimination in MLS playoffs against Revolution

Orlando City SC was eliminated in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference, at home, at the hands of New England Revolution 1-3. According to his teammate Junior Urso, the star of the team, Luis Nani, cried at the defeat of the lions.

“Nani made a mistake, he did not score the penalty, but he is our leader, we believe in him. When he left the game, he cried, ”said Brazilian midfielder Junior Urso. “This player is wonderful, he missed the penalty, but he is my family, we are together, we win together and we lose together.”

When the Orlando team was down 1-2 and with 10 men due to the expulsion of Mauricio Pereyra, an unbeatable opportunity presented itself for the home team. At minute 74 ‘a penalty was scored in favor of the lions, which would have meant a tie at 2. The captain and most experienced player took the ball to collect the maximum penalty, however, Nani missed his shot which was well saved by goalkeeper Matt Turner.

“I am happy for what this team has given me. They made me believe that I could win a league again, even at my age. That is why tonight it was so difficult to lose and the more I missed the penalty that allowed us to draw. We must take the best things of the season, the future will give us better days than today. We must continue together, even with 10 men we show that we are a team of great character, ”said Nani, a 34-year-old former Manchester United player.

The statistics were not in favor of Nani in terms of penalty charges. Since his arrival in Orlando for the 2019 season, the Portuguese midfielder has collected 9 penalties in regular time and scored 5. In the three most recent direct elimination scenarios, he has missed. In the summer during the MLS Is Back tournament, Nani failed in regulation time in the 4th finals against LAFC, but he vindicated himself in that same game by scoring his penalty charge that defined the key in that way. On the contrary, in the previous key of these playoffs against NYCFC, Nani opened the scoring just at minute 5 ‘from eleven steps, but failed to collect in the penalty shoot-out that defined the crossing. On Sunday, he failed again in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“We were definitely hurt by the failure,” said Orlando coach Oscar Pareja. “We as coaches say that in that scenario we should have put someone else to charge. But Nani has shown the personality, has taken responsibility, we have trained and we have done it. There are always three people in charge of the collections. At that moment he did it, we gave him the responsibility. It is something that now, of course, we think that maybe we could do differently due to the statistics, but Nani had the confidence of all ”.

Despite the painful elimination, Orlando City sealed its best season. It was the first time in five years of history that they qualified for the postseason and also won a playoff game. It all happened in Oscar Pareja’s first year at the helm of the lions, who also led them to the final of the MLS Is Back tournament.


Huge respect to Toronto for Nashville SC

Nashville SC have not looked like an expansion team since the start of the playoffs in Major League Soccer (MLS), having even defeated Toronto FC, one of the most powerful teams in the world. last seasons.

It took overtime and a goal in the 108th minute of play for the Tennessee team to defeat the Torontonians by the score of 1-0. Coach Gary Smith praised his players, but also the opponent, Tuesday, in post-match conference.

“We take a good win at a time. It was a fantastic night for the team, for the organization, for the amateurs, ”admitted the man who already won the MLS Cup as a coach in 2010 with the Colorado Rapids.

“If you look at the stats for the game, I think we had 21 shots on goal, which isn’t bad for a far-from-home team playing against such a talented and star-studded squad, he said. points out. I believe they had 12 shots and four on target in 120 minutes. I am happy, like the group, by this statistic. “

Nashville did not steal its meeting next Sunday with the Columbus Crew. Before shutting out Toronto, the men in yellow did the trick to Inter Miami CF in the play-off.

More than defensive

After the loss, Toronto coach Greg Vanney praised his opponents’ defensive skills. Smith, he insisted on recalling that his group was not good in counterattack.

“We had times when we were under pressure, I think it’s normal abroad against this talented team. There were also times when we felt we could do more, and we put pressure and created opportunities. We even put the ball in the back of the net three times before we scored, ”said Smith, referring to the multiple offside caused by his players.

Same story for the experienced captain Dax McCarthy, who always believed in his group.

“Toronto, we have all the respect in the world for them and everything they’ve accomplished over the past four or five years, but when we found our rhythm in the second half we knew we were going to win the game,” he mentioned.

If the Nashville course were to end in the association semifinals, the organization could still boast of having gone very far for an expansion club. In 1998, in its first season in MLS, FC Dallas won the championship, a feat never before seen in the history of the Garber circuit.


The ‘Cubo’ Torres does not renew with Atlanta United and is a free agent

After a very disappointing 2020 season, Atlanta United turned down eight of the 12 contract renewal options they faced, most notably Mexican Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres and former prodigy Andrew Carleton.

Veterans Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres and Edgar Castillo will not have their contract renewed effective, while Jeff Larentowicz’s contract expired. Technical director Carlos Bocanegra confirmed that Larentowicz will not return to the club in 2021.

Carleton stood out with several US youth national teams. Obviously talented, but some off-field issues and inconsistency marred his time with Atlanta. He spent 2020 on loan at USL, where he was among the best midfielders in the league. It will be available to other MLS clubs on the MLS End-of-Year Waivers.

Atlanta picked up the 2021 contract options on Franco Escobar, George Bello, Jon Gallagher and Mo Adams. The returning players plus two signed for 2021 (Erik López and Efraín Morales) bring 23 registered players to the club. That’s a lot of room for more key additions.