Atlanta United

Atlanta United's Andrew Gutman reveals early connection with Thiago Almada

Chris Smith
Gutman spent the 2021 campaign on loan at the New York Red Bulls.
Gutman spent the 2021 campaign on loan at the New York Red Bulls. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United left-back Andrew Gutman says he's already forging a 'good connection' with new signing Thiago Almada.

The Argentine playmaker completed a club and MLS record $16m transfer from Velez during the week, linking straight up with his new teammates at their Guadalajara training camp.

Gutman himself is something of a newcomer having spent the 2021 season on loan at the New York Red Bulls, notching two goals and two assists in 23 appearances. With USMNT prospect George Bello leaving for Arminia Bielefeld this off-season, the 25-year-old will be Atlanta United's tarting left-back.

Given the attacking roles full-backs play in Gonzalo Pineda's system, it's important Gutman and Almada get to know each other well and forge strong chemistry on the field. Despite a language barrier, that already seems to be happening.

“I think he’s been a great addition. From the very first training session, you can see the talent this guy has," Gutman said at a press conference on Friday.

“I don’t think he speaks English, I don’t really speak that good of Spanish, but when we’re on the field we seem like we have a good connection so far. I try to put him in positions that will make him successful on the ball, and then I’m always trying to give him options.”

If Gutman had any worries about integrating with his new teammates, they're firmly in the rearview mirror now. Atlanta United's training camp has kept the players together for extended periods, eating, sleeping, and socializing together.

“When you’re around the team for two weeks straight in a hotel, eating meals together, training together, going for coffee together, that’s the only interaction you have with people,” he said. “So I think it’s been helpful for me to get to know the team better.”

Atlanta United begin their 2022 campaign at home to Sporting Kansas City on February 27.