“It’s a good group of guys and a good coach,” he said. “I’m excited to get to work.”
Gressel said his favorite memories while with Atlanta United are holding the MLS Cup while running toward the supporters after the team defeated Portland at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and starting his first professional game in the club’s first game against the New York Red Bulls at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
“So many good memories that I will always cherish,” the 26-year-old said.
Gressel said he understands why Atlanta United traded him. Conversations with President Darren Eales and Bocanegra the past few weeks clarified the club’s stance and its reasons, Gressel said.
Gressel said part of the issue are MLS rules, which can make it difficult for teams to give raises to certain players. He said he hopes the ongoing collective bargaining agreement will result in it being made easier for players to be paid what they are worth. Gressel isn’t the only player who has felt that pinch. Atlanta United sold Leandro Gonzalez Pirez to Tijuana in Mexico presumably because of MLS salary rules and its cap/budget situation.
“The club can only do so much for certain players,” he said. “I hope it was a tough decision for the club. I’m excited that this is resolved.”
For those curious, Gressel said the Gresselmania website will be re-branded and continue because he wants to stay connected to Atlanta United’s supporters and the city.
“I want to keep being a name well-known in the city and use the platform they’ve given me to make a difference in people lives,” he said. “I’m thankful that fans have given me a nickname, and I want it to continue.”