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Atlanta United signs Argentine defender Escobar from Newell's Old Boys

1:45 PM EST 12/8/17
Franco Escobar Newells Old Boys
The 22-year-old, who can play across the back line, represents the team’s first addition of the offseason

Atlanta United has signed defender Franco Escobar from Argentine Primera Division club Newell’s Old Boys, the MLS side announced Friday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, with Atlanta only revealing Escobar was considered a discovery signing.

"Franco is a physical and versatile defender, capable of playing anywhere along the back line," Atlanta technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a news release. "He’s a young player who has already featured often in the Argentina Primera Division and he brings a level of toughness that will suit MLS and benefit our club immediately."

The Argentina-born Escobar played 34 games with his new coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino’s old club, Old Boys, in his country’s top division since 2015, playing at center back and right back. He had only started one match during the 2017-18 campaign, however, a 3-1 victory over River Plate on Nov. 26.

In addition to his coach, Escobar will join a team that featured three other Argentine players last season — center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and midfielders Yamil Asad and Hector Villalba.

Gonzalez Pirez and Michael Parkhurst represent competition for spots at center back but the team's right back spot is currently up in the air. Anton Walkes, the 2017 starter, was on loan from Tottenham Hotspur while the contract option on backup Tyrone Mears was declined. 

The MLS transfer window opens Sunday, after the MLS Cup final Saturday.