Atlanta United today announced it has signed center back Alan Franco as a Designated Player via transfer from Club Atletico Independiente of the Argentine Primera División. Franco will sign a five-year contract and occupy an international roster spot pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa. Franco will be introduced to media via Zoom tomorrow, April 9, at 1:30 p.m.
“Alan is a competitive and aggressive center back who is comfortable with the ball at his feet,” said Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “He has established himself with more than 80 matches in Argentina’s top flight, in addition to experience in Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores. We’re looking forward to further integrating him with the group and getting him match ready.”
Franco, 24, began his youth career with San Telmo in Buenos Aires. Following three years with San Telmo, Franco made the move to Independiente in January 2015. After a stint with the second team, the defender was promoted to the First Team in 2017. Franco made his Primera Division debut on March 18, 2017 in a 0-0 draw with San Martin. He went on to start 25 of 26 matches in all competitions that season, including both legs of the Copa Sudamericana Final, where Independiente defeated Flamengo (Brazil) 3-2 thanks to an Ezequiel Barco goal from the penalty spot in the second leg.
The following season, Franco started 20 of the 21 matches he was in the squad, while adding eight starts in the Copa Libertadores. Over the course of his Independiente career, the center back has amassed 121 appearances – 82 in league play – and scored one goal with two assists in his professional career.
Internationally, Franco has made one appearance for the Argentine National Team, coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 friendly win against Guatemala on Sept. 8, 2018.
Name: Alan Franco
Birthdate: October 11, 1996 (age: 24)
Birthplace: Avellana, Argentina
Transaction: Atlanta United signs Alan Franco via transfer on April 8, 2021.
2021 Atlanta United roster (as of April 8, 2021)
Goalkeepers (4): Brad Guzan, Alec Kann, Ben Lundgaard, Rocco Rios Novo^
Defenders (14): Mikey Ambrose, George Bello, George Campbell, Alex De John, Alan Franco, Jack Gurr, Franco Escobar*, Andrew Gutman***, Ronald Hernández, Brooks Lennon, Fernando Meza**, Efrain Morales, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes
Midfielders (11): Mo Adams, Ezequiel Barco, Machop Chol, Jürgen Damm, Emerson Hyndman, Franco Ibarra, Marcelino Moreno, Jake Mulraney, Matheus Rossetto, Santiago Sosa, Tyler Wolff
Forwards (5): Jackson Conway, Erik Lopez, Lisandro López, Josef Martinez, Erick “Cubo” Torres
^ – on four-day Short Term Agreement
* – on loan with Newell’s Old Boys
** – on loan with Defensa y Justicia
*** – on loan with New York Red Bulls