Atlanta United now is without their goalkeeper for the remainder of the season due to an Achilles tendon injury.
The official diagnosis was a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right leg, for which Guzan will undergo surgery. No specific information was given as for the date of the surgery, and, therefore, there is no estimated date of return.
Guzan arrived at Atlanta United in 2017 and since then he has played nearly every game for the team. He is one of the most recognized American goalkeepers: he spent nine years of his career playing in England with Aston Villa, Hull and Middlesbrough, and was also a U.S. national team player.
Due to the injury, Atlanta United is without a goalkeeper and captain, but they will try to fill the gap for the remainder of the MLS season. The “Five Stripes” will replace Guzan with 34-year-old Bobby Shuttleworth, and hope he can give them security under the three posts.
Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda talked about what Guzan means for the team, highlighting the skills he has shown.
“Personality, leadership, good character, good footballer, good goalkeeper, many things.”
In fact, it was Pineda who declared that Shuttleworth will be the starting goalkeeper from now on, but he did not give details about who will be the captain for the next game.
Pineda expressed his confidence in Shuttleworth: “now Bobby is going to take care of that. And I’m sure he’s going to do fine.” Bobby Shuttleworth, for his part, said he has found himself in the same situation several times (having to replace the starting goalkeeper) and was confident in his experience.
“I’ve been in this exact situation before, and I’ve played a lot of games. So you know, rely on that experience. And at the end of the day, it’s just a soccer game.”
Possible Replacement for Guzan at Atlanta United
Atlanta United could add a goalkeeper to the squad in the face of Guzan’s injury, and the media has already begun to name some players.
Journalist Tom Bogert said that one of the candidates to become the goalkeeper of the “Five Stripes” team is American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, who currently plays in Israeli soccer with Maccabi Haifa. According to Bogert, Atlanta United had already been in talks with the 29-year-old goalkeeper before Guzan was injured.
Injury Epidemic Plaguing Atlanta United
Although at the moment, everyone is thinking about the sensitive loss of Atlanta United’s goalkeeper, it is important to remember that he is not the only one injured.
Venezuelan Josef Martínez, another of the team’s key players, is injured and is expected to be sidelined for at least six more weeks due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Midfielder Ozzie Alonso, like Guzan, will miss the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Finally, Machop Chol is also out of action this season after suffering an injury during the preseason.
Despite this series of injuries, the team coached by Mexican Gonzalo Pineda, is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, after three wins, two ties and two losses in seven games.