In a move that was more a matter of when then if, the Atlanta Silverbacks, with interim coach and team advisor Eric Wynalda, have signed Danny Barrera, according to Pangea Sports Management.
“I’m ready to move on and up in my career,” said Barrera. “All I want to do is play and continue to get better. I can do that under Eric at Atlanta. This is just the beginning.”
“I’ve wanted Danny to play for me since I saw him in Santa Barbara in 2010,” says Atlanta Silverbacks head coach Eric Wynalda. “He’s a special talent with a lot to offer. This is a new beginning for him despite his many accomplishments thus far. I’m ecstatic to have him as part of this team.”
Just a day after he was announced as new coach of the Silverbacks, Wynalda told IMS that one of his first moves would be to bring in Barrera but that he was already frustrated with the process and his agent.
“Danny Barrera needs to be here (Atlanta),” said Wynalda. “It’s a team (Silverbacks) that needs a player of his caliber and ability. I’m trying to get him here as quickly as I possibly can. And I’m learning a lot about how the process works and why Danny Barrera hasn’t found an MLS team. It’s frustrating to me the way that things work and the way that agents work that have attached themselves to Danny and how they have been a bit unreasonable. They have to understand that the longer you hold on to something the more it devaluates. They need to capitalize on some of the momentum he created for himself with Cal FC and Atlanta would be the perfect next stage of that process.”
Evidently in the process Barrera changed agents. The press release states that he signed with the Silverbacks within hours of signing with Pangea Sports Management. He will be making his first appearance with the club later next week.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Barrera moved to the United States at the age of eight, growing up in Thousand Oaks, California. He developed his game in the United States with the US Soccer residency program, followed by playing at the NCAA level with UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, where he won the Big West Conference ‘Midfielder of the Year’ accolade his sophomore and junior years. When he was 17 he played as a member of the USA team at the 2007 Pan-American Games. He also represented the United States at U17 and U18 levels and was the #1 recruit in the country coming out of high school.
He signed with the newly formed Ventura County Fusion where he played along his brother Diego in the PDL. While playing with Ventura County Fusion, he become USL PDL Champion in 2009. With the Fusion, Danny played against English Premier League’s Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion where he scored one goal, and scored in both friendlies against Chicago Fire and Montreal Impact during pre-season games in Los Angeles this year.
Barrera has always held ambitions to play professionally in Europe early in his career to develop as a player. When he was younger, Barrera trained in England with Sheffield United. After being named to the USL PDL All-League Team in 2011, he made a definite move to Europe by signing with Serbian top league side FK Spartak Zlatibor Voda after a successful trial. He made his league debut for Spartak against Borac Čačak in Dec of 2011. He returned to the United States in 2012 to re-sign with Ventura County, and also with Cal FC in the USASA-affiliated La Gran Liga de Oxnard based in Oxnard, California under Head Coach and US Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda.