Argentina U-20 goalkeeper Rocco Ríos Novo visits the United States
Last September we heard for the first time reports from Argentina who appreciated the Argentine-American goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo would head towards Atlanta united To sweeten the deal because they acquired Marcelino Moreno of Lanus.
These reports suggested he was traveling to the United States with Moreno to play the duration of Season 2 on loan. While the timing of his arrival may have been incorrect, the possibility of the loan still occurring has become much more likely.
Instagram photos included in this report show Novo preparing to fly to the United States from Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. If he had actually flown to Atlanta, he would have traveled on the Delta overnight flight to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport which would have arrived early this morning.
Novo appeared to confirm his move to Atlanta by sharing his excitement in a post on his Instagram story.
Currently, Atlanta United have two goalkeepers on the senior roster, with Ben lundgaard and perspective of the academy Vicente Reyes likely to start the season with the 2. Novo could either become the No. 3 goalie in MLS or compete with Lundgaard for that position with Novo and Reyes in the squad for the 2.
With Brad Guzan set to start the season as a starting Atlanta goaltender at 36 and Alec Kann returning to the club as a backup goalie at 30, Carlos Bocanegra seems to be looking to the future in this position with a young and promising player.
At just 18 years old, Novo brings a wealth of international experience to Atlanta. He was a regular starter for Argentina with the U-15 and U-17 junior national teams at the 2019 U-17s. world Cup and the South American Under-17 Championships in 2019 where he scored five cleansheets in eight matches. Aside from being a promising young player who will likely be eligible for a designation on the U-22 roster, Novo will not hold an international position since he was born in Los Angeles, California, and has US citizenship.
Novo would travel to Atlanta on a free loan from Lánus for the 2021 season with an option to buy 80% of his rights for $ 3 million.
Should Atlanta United decide to take the option to purchase the rights to Novo, the squad will be made up of a group of young and talented players in the goal with Vicente Reyes and Justin garces both screened as likely local signings in 2022. All three players have extensive experience with their national youth team programs and could create an exciting competition for the goalie position in future preseason camps.