Atlanta United continued their preparations for its first MLS season on Thursday, adding Tottenham youngster Anton Walkes on loan, confirming the acquisition of U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan and signing Argentine center-back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.
Walkes signed a six-month loan from the Premier League's Tottenham. The 19-year-old impressed in Spurs' preseason trip to Australia, featuring against Juventus and Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup, and he was one of three teenagers to make his debut in the EFL Cup match against Gillingham in September, along with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Marcus Edwards.
Afterwards, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said: "I am very happy because if you see the confidence of Carter-Vickers, Harry Winks, Anton Walkes, they were fantastic. They come through the academy but they have the quality to impress us and play for the first team."
However, Walkes, who can play at centre-back or in midfield, will spend the rest of the English season at Atlanta, which is due to begin play in MLS against the New York Red Bulls in early March.
- Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 26, 2017
Spurs have a close relationship with Atlanta, and the club's former executive director Darren Eales left White Hart Lane to join the MLS expansion franchise as president in 2014.
"Anton has a bright future and we're thrilled to have him continue his development at our club," Eales said in a statement. "He's a young player who's already been part of the first team squad at Spurs, featuring often throughout the summer until his official debut in the League Cup in September. He'll be a welcome addition to our club."
Guzan's move had been confirmed on Wednesday by Middlesbrough, who will keep the 32-year-old until the summer. He will be eligible to play for Atlanta starting in July when the MLS secondary transfer window opens.
Atlanta used their top spot in the league's allocation ranking to acquire Guzan's MLS rights and used targeted allocation money in the deal.
- brad guzan (@bguzan) January 26, 2017
"Brad is a proven Premier League and international goalkeeper and we're delighted that he's joining our club," Eales said. "Once we made the decision to select the top pick in the allocation process, we were keen on acquiring him. We look forward to having him become an integral part of our team."
Pirez moves to Atlanta from Argentina club Estudiantes de La Plata. The 24-year-old has also played in the Argentine top flight for River Plate and Tigre.
"I'm very excited to have Leandro join us in Atlanta," Atlanta United coach Tata Martino said. "He fits in well with our style of play and has the ability to make a difference in MLS."
On Tuesday, Atlanta signed defender Tyrone Mears after acquiring the Englishman's rights from the Seattle Sounders.