Atlanta United today announced a key milestone in club history with the signing of its first player, 23-year-old goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis.
The 6’ 2” goalkeeper comes to Atlanta from Panathinaikos, one of the top clubs in the Greek Superleague. He will play the 2016 season on loan with Charleston Battery, Atlanta United’s newly announced USL affiliate, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per MLS and club policy.
“This is an exciting day for our club as we officially begin building our roster,” said Atlanta United president Darren Eales. “Every spot on the roster is important as we seek to find a competitive edge. Our approach will be to find quality players that contribute to the squad at every level.”
Atlanta United recently announced a USL affiliation with Charleston Battery, allowing Atlanta United’s 2016 signings to have the option of playing on loan with the Battery ahead of the club’s inaugural 2017 season. Eales and Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra believe that thoughtful planning and depth of roster are the critical building blocks to creating a strong club from the ground up.
“Alex is a promising young player with solid tools and a big upside,” said Bocanegra. “He’s already had big game experience in Greece which is an advantage for a 23-year-old goalkeeper. We’re looking forward to his continued development at the Battery.”
Tambakis signed a professional contract with Panathinaikos in 2010 and was promoted to the first team squad in 2011. While there and on loan at Niki Volos he gained valuable international playing experience in a top European division.
Tambakis has dual Greek and American citizenship and will not count against Atlanta United’s international player slots. He will begin play with the Battery when they kick off the USL season in late March.