Walkes headlines Atlanta United’s unprotected list

Atlanta United defender Anton Walkes #4 defends during the match against Cincinnati FC at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday November 7, 2021. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)
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Atlanta United defender Anton Walkes #4 defends during the match against Cincinnati FC at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday November 7, 2021. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United

Anton Walkes and Emerson Hyndman were among the players left unprotected by Atlanta United for Tuesday’s MLS expansion draft.

Being left unprotected means that one of the players is available to be selected by Charlotte. If one of Atlanta United’s players is selected, it will receive $50,000 in Allocation Money. A team can only have one player selected.

Other players left unprotected were: midfielder Mo Adams, fullback Mikey Ambrose, centerback Joshua Bauer, winger Jurgen Damm, centerback Alex De John, fullback Ronald Hernandez (who is on loan from Aberdeen), goalkeeper Alec Kann, striker Erik Lopez, goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard, winger Jake Mulraney, midfielder Amar Sejdic and striker Erick Torres.

The maximum 12 players the team protected were winger Luiz Araujo, midfielder Ezequiel Barco, centerback Alan Franco, fullback Andrew Gutman (who is on loan to Red Bulls), goalkeeper Brad Guzan, midfielder Franco Ibarra, fullback Brooks Lennon, striker Josef Martinez, midfielder Marcelino Moreno, centerback Miles Robinson, midfielder Matheus Rossetto and midfielder Santiago Sosa.

Protected because they are Homegrowns were fullback George Bello, centerback George Campbell, winger Machop Chol, striker Jackson Conway, centerback Efrain Morales, centerback Bryce Washington and midfielder Tyler Wolff.

Walkes, 24, appeared in 33 games last season and formed a formidable partnership with Miles Robinson when the team deployed two centerbacks, and with Alan Franco when the team used three. With a guaranteed salary of $275,062, according to the MLSPA salary database, he will be an attractive option for Charlotte.

Hyndman, 25, is coming off a season-ending knee injury that limited him to seven appearances last season. The injury, combined with his salary of $900,000, will likely reduce his attractiveness to Charlotte.

Kann, 31, could be another attractive option. The club declined the option on his contract earlier this month but Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said the club hopes to resign him. Free agents, which Kann is, can begin signing with teams on Wednesday. Kann has 24 appearances in regular season games with Atlanta United and has proven to be a starter-quality player.

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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.

Rest of schedule is supposed to be released on Wednesday