Garza laments Asad’s absence heading into 2018 campaign

It’s like all the friends are back at school. Except your one friend who moved to Argentina and your friends mourn his loss at the lunch table.

Despite the fanfare surrounding Atlanta United’s signing of Ezequiel Barco, a quick glance on social media will tell you the supporters still care deeply about one Yamil Asad. The Argentinian left winger was a vital component of the 2017 campaign, and Asad admitted in an interview with Univision that despite wanting to return to the club, Atlanta United could not make it work within the constraints of MLS roster rules.

Freelance MLS reporter Jeff Rueter, tweeted Wednesday evening that the number requested by Asad’s club was close to $2 million, making him too expensive for Atlanta to purchase.

Speaking after Wednesday’s training session, LB Greg Garza said he misses his old pal.

“It’s definitely difficult to see some guys go that in my personal opinion were a big part of the group, but that’s this sport,” Garza said unprompted Wednesday. Later, when asked specifically about Asad, he added, “Myself and Yamil, we had an awesome relationship outside the field as well. We understood each other to the point where we knew each other’s positions on the field without even looking.

“I think that by far he was one of the toughest working guys on the field last year, so it’s sad to see him go,” Garza continued. “But we’re gypsies in this sport and nothing’s ever guaranteed. It was definitely hard to see him go, but hopefully I can build chemistry with whoever plays.”

Despite the loss of Asad, Garza said he’s excited for the upcoming season. With the team being more cohesive than at this point last year, he believes the team can push on for bigger and better things.

“We set the bar pretty high. For us to have a better year, we’re definitely going to have to challenge ourselves,” said Garza. “We brought the players and the names, but it’s really up to us on the field to bring it to the fans and really show these people why they’re here and have a better season than last year.”