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Report: LAFC’s Eduard Atuesta receives Green Card

Would be second player to pick up U.S. residency this offseason.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the 2019 preseason, many observers (like this one) were sweating out Los Angeles Football Club’s international slot situation. Turns out, the club is doing work on this front.

John Rojas reported this weekend that LAFC midfielder Eduard Atuesta has obtained his Green Card, giving him U.S. permanent residency and for MLS purposes, not needing an international roster slot.

Atuesta is the second player this offseason to get his Green Card, after Diego Rossi completed the process in the past two weeks. Atuesta, 21, joined LAFC just under a year ago, at the end of Feb. 2018, on loan from Independiente Medellin in his native Colombia. LAFC picked up the purchase option on his loan at the end of the 2018 season.

He made 29 appearances across all competitions in 2018 for the black-and-gold, scoring a goal and three assists while playing a two-way midfield role. He was also recognized as one of the best young players in MLS last season, so he had a good start to his MLS career and is expected to improve moving forward.

LAFC haven’t confirmed Atuesta’s Green Card, but Rojas is reputable and this is a credible report. Rojas recently said Carlos Vela could pick up a Green Card at some point in the future as well. That timeframe is indeterminate, but given how quickly Rossi and Atuesta are getting theirs, he could be in line to nab his in short order, too.

So with Rossi and Atuesta coming off international roster slots, LAFC currently have eight slots and would have six players occupying slots. That means 2019 MLS Draft picks Peter-Lee Vassell and Javi Perez could sign and be added to the roster with no hiccups. We’ll see if any other signings emerge or any other players would need international slots, but with the team primarily going with players who have U.S. citizenship or residency, international slots do not appear to be a concern in 2019.

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