Atlanta United defender Franco Escobar #2 gestures after scoring a goal against New England Revolution during the first round playoff match against New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA, on Saturday October 19, 2019. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United today announced it has loaned defender Franco Escobar to Newell’s Old Boys of the Argentine Primera Division. Atlanta United retains its club option for the 2022 season. 

“We want to thank Franco for all of his contributions to the club so far and wish him continued success during his loan spell,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said.

Newell’s will compete in three tournaments during 2021 and is scheduled to start later this month with the 2021 Copa de Liga Professional. Newell’s will also compete in the 2021 Copa Sudamericana, having qualified for the tournament last year. It is scheduled to start group play in April. Finally, the 2020-21 Argentina Primera Division is scheduled to begin after the 2021 Copa America finishes.

Escobar joined Atlanta United in 2018 from Newell’s Old Boys. He made an immediate impact with 22 matches played, including 20 starts. The versatile defender scored one goal during the regular season but broke through in the postseason during Atlanta’s MLS Cup run where he scored twice, including scoring in the MLS Cup Final against Portland.

The Argentine carried that momentum into 2019, where he played 25 matches with 22 starts. He scored one goal in the regular season and added another in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, a game-winning strike against New England. Escobar started and played 16 matches during the 2020 season for Atlanta United.

Transaction: Atlanta United loans Franco Escobar to Newell’s Old Boys for the duration of the 2021 season on February 9, 2021.

2021 Atlanta United roster (as of Feb. 9, 2021)

Goalkeepers (2): Brad Guzan, Alec Kann

Defenders (9): Mikey Ambrose, George Bello, George Campbell, Franco Escobar*, Brooks Lennon, Fernando Meza, Efrain Morales, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes

Midfielders (10): Mo Adams, Ezequiel Barco, Machop Chol, Jürgen Damm, Emerson Hyndman, Marcelino Moreno, Jake Mulraney, Eric Remedi, Matheus Rossetto, Tyler Wolff

Forwards (5): Jackson Conway, Erik Lopez, Lisandro López, Josef Martinez, Erick “Cubo” Torres

* – on loan with Newell’s Old Boys

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