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Atlanta United 2023 Season Preview

Atlanta United: 2023 The 17s’ Kit

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: They’ve got a lot of what I’ll call flashy, high-end talent – guys whose names you see on paper and think “damn, he’s gonna rip in this league.”
  • Weakness: Game’s played on grass, innit?

Key Departures

  • Josef Martínez: A club legend, MLS icon and former record-setting MVP… Josef Martínez has officially departed Atlanta for Inter Miami CF (contract buyout). His peak was among the best we’ve ever seen in this league, but complications from a torn ACL have slowed him down in recent years. Still, Martínez had 98g/16a in 134 regular-season appearances with ATLUTD.
  • Marcelino Moreno: A talented player that ultimately never quite fit correctly, Marcelino Moreno departs Atlanta via a loan to Brazilian top-flight side Coritiba. He had an underwhelming 13g/14a in 68 appearances after a big transfer in 2020.
  • Alan Franco: Alan Franco was meant to be a defensive anchor and partner with Miles Robinson, but leaves after two years as part of a salary cap casualty/budget reset. Franco transferred to São Paulo in Brazil and made 56 MLS appearances.

Key Acquisitions

  • Giorgos Giakoumakis: Greek international Giorgos Giakoumakis arrives from Celtic FC as the club’s new DP center forward. He was productive in limited minutes with the Scottish Premiership side, though his best season in Europe came in 2020-21 when he had 26 goals in 30 appearances in Holland with VVV-Venlo.
  • Derrick Etienne Jr.: Free-agent winger Derrick Etienne Jr. joins Atlanta, hoping to further balance an attack that had too many players with overlapping skill sets last year. His verticality should open up space for Thiago Almada and Luiz Araujo. Etienne is coming off a career year with the Columbus Crew, delivering 9g/6a last season.
  • Luis Abram: Peru international Luis Abram arrives from Granada to be a new building block in central defense – likely alongside Miles Robinson. The 26-year-old has 33 caps with Peru and has experience domestically in Spain, Mexico, Peru and Argentina.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - ATL lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 7th in East
  • Charles Boehm: 12th in East
  • Tom Bogert: 8th in East
  • Matt Doyle: 8th in East
  • David Gass: 8th in East
  • J. Sam Jones: 8th in East
  • Sacha Kljestan: 9th in East
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 12th in East
  • Joseph Lowery: 5th in East
  • Melissa Ortiz: 12th in East
  • Danielle Slaton: 11th in East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 6th in East
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 4th in East

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Gonzalo Pineda
  • Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Last year: 10W-14L-10T, 40 points, 11th in East
  • Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify