Atlanta United announced Monday the club has signed defensive midfielder Franco Ibarra from Argentinos Juniors of the Argentine Primera División. Ibarra will occupy an international roster spot pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.

“Franco has only begun to scratch the surface of his ability and we’re pleased to add a young player of his quality to our group,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “Although only 19 years old, he already broke through Argentinos Juniors First Team in November and experienced some big matches during their league season. He’s an aggressive, athletic midfielder and we’re excited to watch his development and progression continue at Atlanta United.”

Ibarra, 19, joined Argentinos Juniors in 2010 and progressed through the youth system before making his first team debut in December of 2019 in a league match against Estudiantes. Ibarra then broke through once play resumed in Argentina in 2020. He started five of six matches in Copa de Liga Profesional group play as Argentinos Juniors finished second in its group and advanced to Fase Campeón.

Ibarra then started all five matches in the next round of the tournament, including a 1-1 draw against River Plate and a 2-2 draw against eventual tournament champions Boca Juniors. In all, he made 10 appearances, all starts, during the 2020-21 season, and has made 11 total appearances for the club, in addition to being called up by Argentina’s U-20 national team.

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