Junior Burgos, a midfielder formerly of the Atlanta Silverbacks, will play the 2016 NASL season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, on loan from Atlanta United FC.
It seems that Atlanta United FC has another player slated to play on its opening day roster for the 2017 MLS season in former Atlanta Silverbacks midfielder and El Salvador Men’s National Team Junior Burgos.
Burgos spent the last two seasons playing for the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks before the club ceased operations due to ownership issues a few months ago. He will continue to play in the NASL for the Tampa Bay Rowdies on loan from Atlanta United FC. The 27-year-old midfielder will transition to the MLS as a member of Atlanta United FC in 2017.
Though Atlanta United FC has a USL affiliate in the Charleston Battery, Junior Burgos has already played at the MLS level in North America for Toronto FC in 2012, so it makes sense that Burgos will continue to play a level up from USL play by joining the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the 2016 NASL season, on loan from Atlanta United FC.
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Atlanta United FC technical director Carlos Bocanegra talked about the deal United has in place with Tampa Bay for the 2016 NASL season as United FC continues to put together its roster. “Tampa Bay was in the final stages of completing a deal for Junior so we’re pleased that we were able to work with them to acquire his rights for 2017. He’ll see quality playing time while on loan this season and we look forward to monitoring him.”
It makes sense to have Junior Burgos play his 2016 season in nearby Tampa after the Atlanta Silverbacks ended up folding. He’ll face considerably tougher competition than Atlanta United FC’s other signee goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis, who will spend time with the USL’s Charleston Battery.
Though Junior Burgos does play for the El Salvador National Team, he like Tambakis probably doesn’t account for one of United’s three international allocations, as Burgos grew up in California and played collegiately for the San José State Spartans and the Cal Poly Mustangs.
Again, Carlos Bocanegra seems to have a great understanding about building an MLS roster that strives to play competitively from day one in spring of 2017. Signing players that have international ties that are also American citizens is a creative way for Atlanta United FC to put together a competitive roster for an up-and-coming MLS Expansion team. Go United!