“We hope to have some good news before the end of the year,” Bocanegra said.
Bocanegra provided more information about the team’s players.
The club extended the contracts of goalkeeper Brad Guzan and midfielder Emerson Hyndman. Both players accepted salary cuts. Both deals end after the 2023 season. Hyndman suffered a torn ACL during the 2021 season. He had a guaranteed contract of $657,143 in September. Guzan suffered a ruptured Achilles during the 2022 season. HIs deal was extended before the 2022 season. He had a guaranteed contract of $458,216 in September. Bocanegra acknowledged they want to sign at least one more goalkeeper to challenge Guzan, who is 38 years old, for the starting role. Bocanegra said Guzan’s recovery is going well.
To that end, Bocanegra said he thinks the club has salary cap flexibility to be active in the upcoming free agency and transfer windows. Free agency starts Wednesday. The next transfer window opens in January. Atlanta United’s guaranteed compensation to players was $22,431,357 through September, according to the MLSPA.
“We feel pretty good about where we are,” he said. “I think I talked last time around that we didn’t completely leverage ourselves in the summer by maybe making deals that would have crippled us. For this year. So we feel good about where we are. And we hope to be active in the transfer market this fall.”
Striker is another position that the club will look to strengthen. The club has Josef Martinez, Dom Dwyer, Jackson Conway and Erik Lopez currently on the roster. Martinez’s future with the club remains cloudy. Dwyer is a veteran going into the last year of his contract. Conway made three appearances last season, and Lopez spent the year on loan to Banfield in Argentina. The club may bring back Ronaldo Cisneros, who spent most of the season on loan with the Five Stripes from Chivas in LIGA MX. Bocanegra said the purchase option on Cisneros, who scored seven goals, was too high but there are ongoing discussions about his return.
The club exercised the option on midfielder Matheus Rossetto because of his leadership on the field and in the locker room, Bocanegra said. Rossetto, 26, made 24 appearances, including 19 starts, with one assist last season. He had a guaranteed salary of $662,500.
The club has yet to receive any formal offers for standout midfielder Thiago Almada, who made his debut for the Argentina national team in September. Almada had six goals and a team-high 12 assists last season. Bocanegra said many clubs scouted Almada during the season.
The club exercised a loan option on centerback JuanJo Purata. There is an option to purchase him from Tigres after the 2023 season.
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