Middlesbrough has confirmed that U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan will join Atlanta United FC this summer.
Guzan, who was linked to the club in a report by ESPN's Taylor Twellman last month, will sign a multi-year deal with the MLS expansion team and return to the league where he began his career. Currently fighting for playing time at Boro with the likes of Spanish veteran Victor Valdes, Guzan is in his first–and as it turns out only–season with the Premier League side.
"The chance for Guzan to return to the USA and continue his career has presented itself in recent weeks and, recognizing the opportunity for him and his family, he will depart in the summer with the best wishes of all connected with Middlesbrough Football Club," the club wrote in a statement.
Guzan will go through the MLS Allocation Order to sign with Atlanta, putting the club to the end of the order and bumping fellow expansion club Minnesota United to the top of the order. Given that he won't arrive until after Middlesbrough's season ends, Atlanta will need to rely on other goalkeepers at the start of its maiden campaign. Alec Kann, Alex Capp and Alexander Tambakis are the goalkeepers currently on the club's roster. The club had traded for Sean Johnson from Chicago, but then sent him to New York City FC in a separate deal.
Guzan, 32, began his career with Chivas USA before moving to Aston Villa in 2008. He remained at Villa Park until the summer, moving to Boro after the Villans were relegated. He'll return to MLS, following in the footsteps of fellow U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who joined the Colorado Rapids last summer. With Howard currently on the shelf as he recovers from a groin injury, Guzan, who has made just three Premier League starts this season, is in line to star the USA's vital World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama at the end of March.