In this edition of the Sports Inquirer Show, we discuss:
-Atlanta United’s home win over Chicago with audio from Brad Guzan and Jeff Larentowicz discussing the team’s concluding a long stretch of matches on a high note as well as Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the Champions League finals with thoughts on Mo Salah and Jurgen Klopp and finally the strong form of the United States Men’s National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Offside Trap (5:00-31:00)
-The NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors as well as the start of the WNBA season for the Atlanta Dream with audio from head coach Nicki Collen in Stagger Screen (31:00-45:00)
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.
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) made public today the official final rosters submitted by the 12 Participating Member Associations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015, to be played from July 7-26 in 13 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
United States is the defending champion of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Along with the 2013 title, the U.S. secured half a ticket to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The Americans could clinch a berth in that intercontinental competition by defending their title in 2015. If the champion of the 2015 Gold Cup is any team other than the United States, that team will qualify for a playoff match against the U.S. to decide which CONCACAF national team will represent the region in the next Confederations Cup.
United States roster:
GK – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England); Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/USA); William Yarbrough (Leon/Mexico)
DF – Ventura Alvarado (Club America/Mexico); John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany); Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany); Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders/USA); Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy/USA);
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany); Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers/England)
MF – Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake/USA); Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France); Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/Canada); Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo/USA); Mix Diskerud (New York City FC/USA); Alfredo Morales (Inglostadt 04/Germany); DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur/England); Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy/USA); Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City/USA);
FW – Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/Canada); Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders/USA); Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands); Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes/USA)
2015 CONCACAF GOLD CUP Groups (In order of Group Position)
GROUP A: USA, Panama, Haiti, Honduras
GROUP B: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, Jamaica
GROUP C: Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba