Details of a deal are yet to emerge, but the long-awaited acquisition of U.S. keeper Brad Guzan by Atlanta United is set.
The Middlesbrough Web site ran an item Wednesday, confirming that Guzan will leave the Premier League club at the end of the English season in late May to join the MLS expansion team, which used its spot atop the Allocation Order to claim him. Guzan, 32, has signed a multi-year contract and will return to MLS nine years after Aston Villa paid a $1 million transfer fee to buy his contract and pry him loose from Chivas USA.
After four seasons as a backup in England, Guzan won the starting job for the 2012-13 season and held it until Villa’s relegation from the Premier League last spring prompted a move to Middlesbrough. He’s played only three league games this season. His lifetime stats in England are 147 Premier League appearances, 28 shutouts, and one assist.
Guzan grew up in Illinois and after two college seasons at South Carolina signed an MLS Generation Adidas contract. Chivas USA – about to start its first season as an expansion team -- took him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 SuperDraft. In 3 ½ seasons he posted 24 shutouts in 79 appearances. He was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2006.
Guzan debuted for the U.S. in 2006 and has accrued 53 caps. He was the starter (with Tim Howard on hiatus) at the 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup and also started all five U.S, games last year at the Copa America Centenario.
Even though he is the 'Boro backup to Victor Valdes, Guzan begins the year as the likely starter for the USA in its March World Cup qualifiers, assuming Howard doesn't recover from a groin injury suffered in the first half of the Hexagonal opener against Mexico in November.
2017 Roster (24 players):
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alec Kann (Sporting KC, Expansion Draft), Alexandros Tabakis (Panathinaikos/GRE, Free Agent).
DEFENDERS (7): Mikey Ambrose (Orlando City, Expansion Draft), Mark Bloom (Toronto FC, Trade), Greg Garza (Tijuana/MEX, Loan), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas, Expansion Draft), Tyrone Mears (Seattle Sounders, Trade), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew, Trade), Miles Robinson (Syracuse Univ., SuperDraft).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Miguel Almiron (Lanus/ARG, Transfer), Yamil Asad (Velez Sarsfield/ARG, Loan), Andrew Carleton (Homegrown), Chris Goslin (Homegrown), Julian Gressel (Providence College, SuperDraft), Harrison Heath (Orlando City, Trade), Kevin Kratz (Philadelphia Union, Trade), Jeff Larentowicz (LA Galaxy, Free Agent), Chris McCann (Wigan Athletic/ENG, Free Agent), Hector Villalba (San Lorenzo/ARG, Transfer).
FORWARDS (5): Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City/WAL, Free Agent), Jeffrey Otoo (Charity Stars/GHA, Transfer), Jacob Peterson (Sporting KC, Re-Entry Draft), Brandon Vazquez (Tijuana/MEX, Transfer), Romario Williams (Montreal Impact, Trade).
GOALKEEPERS: Clint Irwin (Toronto FC, Trade), Sean Johnson (New York City, Trade).
DEFENDERS: Donny Toia (Orlando City, Trade).
MIDFIELDERS: Junior Burgos.