“We still have a lot of decisions to make on that,” he said about Escobar. “The roster is not set at this moment. So we don’t have final answers on that.”
The team declined options on Kann, midfielder Mo Adams, centerback Josh Bauer, goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard and striker Erick Torres. Additionally, fullback Ronald Hernandez’s loan from Aberdeen is ending and he is scheduled to return to join the Scottish club.
Adams, 25, appeared in 23 league games, starting three. He scored one goal. Bauer didn’t appear for the team after selecting him in the 2021 draft. Lundgaard, 26, also didn’t appear for the club for the past two seasons. Torres scored one goal in 33 appearances.
The team’s decisions regarding Kann and Lundgaard leave it with one goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, on the roster. Training camp for the 2022 season will start in late January or early February.
Not exercising contract options isn’t a mechanism the team can use to protect players from being selected in the Charlotte expansion draft. According to MLS rules for the draft, which is scheduled to be held Dec. 14, players who are free agents because the option was declined on their contract aren’t protected and are eligible for selection.
Bocanegra said the club isn’t looking to buy out the contract of Damm, who is among the team’s highest-paid players but has yet to produce since joining in the middle of the 2020 season. Bocanegra said a shift to a formation that included three centerbacks and two wingbacks didn’t fit Damm’s skills. Manager Gonzalo Pineda said the club is considering changing its base formation, which may help Damm, who is better suited as a wide midfielder or winger.
Roster by position
Strikers: Jackson Conway, Erik Lopez, Josef Martinez.
Attacking midfielders: Marcelino Moreno, Tyler Wolff.
Wingers: Luiz Araujo, Ezequiel Barco, Machop Chol, Jurgen Damm, Jake Mulraney.
Central midfielders: Emerson Hyndman, Matheus Rossetto, Amar Sejdic.
Defensive midfielders: Franco Ibarra, Santiago Sosa.
Fullbacks: George Bello, Franco Escobar, Andrew Gutman, Brooks Lennon, Mikey Ambrose.
Centerbacks: George Campbell, Alex De John, Alan Franco, Efrain Morales, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes, Bryce Washington.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan.
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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule
Feb. 27 vs. Sporting KC, 3 p.m.
March 5 at Colorado, 6 p.m.