Predicting Atlanta United’s offseason moves

Atlanta United's Thiago Almada dribbles against the Columbus Crew Sunday in Game 3 of their MLS playoff series.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Atlanta United

Credit: Photo courtesy of Atlanta United

Atlanta United's Thiago Almada dribbles against the Columbus Crew Sunday in Game 3 of their MLS playoff series.

Atlanta United’s MLS season ended with a 4-2 loss at Columbus Sunday in the playoffs.

Now, it’s time for what some look forward to more than the games themselves: the offseason.

I tweeted, or X’d, from @DougRobersonAJC, after the loss to Columbus a very premature list of players I don’t think will be on the roster when the team opens training camp for the 2024 season in January.

Here’s a slightly less premature - but more thought out - list of players (with this season’s salaries as of October and year contract ends) and the reasons why I don’t think they may be back with the team next season:

Out of contract

Osvaldo Alonso/$88,200/2023

Miguel Berry/$135,000/2023

Miles Robinson/$1,437,500/2023: Team has had a maximum-TAM offer to the centerback for almost 18 months. It seems the only way he will sign is if he doesn’t receive a better offer from somewhere else.

Matheus Rossetto/$764,375/2023: The central midfielder became the player most expected after Tristan Muyumba was signed but Rossetto’s salary is enormous. If team wanted to re-sign him, he would have to agree to much less money, which seems unlikely. Plus, team has Jay Fortune, a Homegrown, ready to go.

Quentin Westberg/$200,000/2023

Likely sold in January window

Thiago Almada/$2,332,000/2026: This is the biggest determinant in Atlanta United’s hopes for 2024. He’s one of the best players in MLS and is expected to be sold for at least $30 million. The problem is this: there have been no reports of any clubs in Europe making legitimate offers for him. If he stays, Atlanta United can offer him a new contract at a much higher salary with the hope that he will became the long-term face of the future and then continue to build around him. If he leaves, the club must take those funds and find another established, effective playmaker.

May be sold or traded in January window

Derrick Etienne Jr./676,250/2027: With no goals and two assists, it just hasn’t worked out for the winger like anyone thought when he signed as a free agent. He’s got a big salary and a lot of years left on his contract, which would make him an expensive buyout. If the team can’t trade him, perhaps it’ll become a “mutually agreed to terminate” situation.

Ronald Hernández375,000/2025: With Brooks Lennon ahead of him on one side and Caleb Wiley on the other, and the team’s commitment to a four-man backline, he doesn’t have a spot. The team could exercise the expected option and then try to trade him while the contract still has value. Manager Gonzalo Pineda loves his attitude and work rate in training.

Franco Ibarra/550,000/2025: Atlanta United typically includes two option years on the end of contracts. If this is true of Ibarra, it seems likely the team either won’t exercise those options or will try to trade him. The team was forced to send him on loan to Toronto during the season because of its roster management and the league’s odd rules. Ibarra barely played while there. Another loan is also an option.

Santiago Sosa/693,100/2025: The defensive midfielder mostly fell out of the gameday squads after poor showings against New England and Miami earlier this season and the addition of Muyumba. Sosa’s big salary is a reason why it would be tough for team to keep him as a backup to fill the void of Rossetto.

Caleb Wiley/87,044/2026: There have been X’s that some clubs in Europe have showed an interest in the fullback. I think he will be with the club next season.

Team won’t exercise option or loan option

Jackson Conway/89,716/2024: The striker was sent on loan midway through the season, signaling his time with the team is done.

Clément Diop/85,444/85,444/2024: If Atlanta United signs a goalkeeper to compete with Guzan, Diop becomes the third-stringer. His salary makes him a bargain but the team may want to promote someone from the 2s or Academy into the third role.

Juan José Purata/483,500/2023: The on-loan centerback became a late-game sub in the season’s final third.

Player may want to go elsewhere

Erik Centeno/79,136/2026

Aiden McFadden/85,444/2024: McFadden may want to go to a team where he may have more of a chance to play as a fullback or wingback with the first team. It’s tough with Brooks Lennon and Caleb Wiley ahead of him. His future may be tied to what happens to Hernandez.

Amar Sejdic/85,444/92,111/2025: He fell out of the pecking order with Pineda instead using Jay Fortune. Sejdic may want to go somewhere he can get more minutes. He’s a bargain at that salary.

Roster in 2024

Luis Abram/695,977/2026

Machop Chol/89,716/2025

Noah Cobb/67,360/67,360/2027

Nick Firmino/TBA/2026

Ajani Fortune/67,360/67,360/2026

Justin Garces/68,775/68,775/2025: The third goalkeeper for 2024.

Giorgios Giakoumakis2,160,453/2026

Brad Guzan/612,500/2025: Some supporters have said they don’t want him to return. It’s not their choice.

Brooks Lennon/700,000/2026

Saba Lobjanidze/2,150,750/2026

Efraín Morales/85,444/2025

Edwin Mosquera/412,000/2026

Tristan Muyumba/491,600/2027

Xande Silva/480,000/524,500/2023: He is on loan but if team can negotiate a reasonable salary I think he will be signed.

Jamal Thiare/1,072,679/2024

Tyler Wolff/124,500/2025

Returners by position:

Strikers (2): Giakoumakis and Thiare.

Wingers (5): Chol, Lobjanidze, Mosquera Silva and Wolff.

Midfielders (4): Firmino, Fortune, Muyumba, and possibly Almada and Sejdic. Ibarra and Sosa are wildcards.

Fullbacks (2): Lennon and likely Wiley. Hernandez is a wildcard.

Centerbacks (3): Abram, Cobb and Morales.

Goalkeepers (2): Garces and Guzan.

For more content about Atlanta United

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Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule

Feb. 25 Atlanta United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

March 4 Atlanta United 1, Toronto FC 1

March 11 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte FC 0

March 18 Atlanta United 5, Portland 1

March 25 Columbus 6, Atlanta United 1

April 1 Atlanta United 1, New York Red Bulls 0

April 8 Atlanta United 1, New York City FC 1

April 15 Atlanta United 2, Toronto FC 2

April 23 Atlanta United 2, Chicago 1

April 29 Nashville SC 3, Atlanta United 1

May 6 Inter Miami CF 2, Atlanta United 1

May 13 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 1

May 17 Atlanta United 4, Colorado 0

May 20 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 3

May 27 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

May 31 Atlanta United 3, New England 3

June 7 Atlanta United 0, LAFC 0

June 10 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 1

June 21 Atlanta United 2, New York City 2

June 24 New York Red Bulls 4, Atlanta United 0

July 2 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 0

July 8 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

July 12 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

July 15 Orlando City 2, Atlanta United 1

July 25 Miami 4, Atlanta United 0 in Leagues Cup

July 29 Cruz Azul 1 (5), Atlanta United (4) 1 in Leagues Cup

Aug. 20 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 0

Aug. 26 Atlanta United 4, Nashville 0

Aug. 30 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 2 Atlanta United 2, FC Dallas 2

Sept. 16 Atlanta United 5, Inter Miami 2

Sept. 20 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 1

Sept. 23 Atlanta United 4, Montreal 1

Oct. 4 Philadelphia 3, Atlanta United 2

Oct. 7 Atlanta United 1, Columbus 1

Oct. 21 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

Nov. 1 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 0

Nov. 7 Atlanta United 4, Columbus 2

Nov. 12 Columbus 4, Atlanta United 2