Transfer Tracker

Atlanta United select Derrick Williams in Re-Entry Draft

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Atlanta United selected center back Derrick Williams with the first pick in Stage 2 of the 2023 MLS Re-Entry Draft, the club announced Thursday.

To get the top spot, Atlanta traded $50,000 of 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) and the Re-Entry Draft's No. 19 pick to Toronto FC.

With the transaction, Atlanta are required to make a genuine offer to Williams within seven days. If an agreement cannot be reached between both parties, Atlanta will hold Williams’ Right of First Refusal in MLS.

Williams, 30, has spent three seasons in MLS across the LA Galaxy and D.C. United, tallying 1g/4a in 71 games (65 starts). Capped three times by Ireland’s national team, he’s also made over 250 combined appearances in England for Aston Villa, Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers.

Born in Germany, Williams holds an American passport and would not occupy an international roster spot if he signs with Atlanta.

Atlanta’s center back situation is in flux as Miles Robinson explores free agency and recent homegrown signing Garrison Tubbs was traded to D.C. United. Luis Abram is their veteran presence, and the club’s reportedly in the market for several additions.

In 2024, Atlanta start their regular-season slate on Feb. 24 at defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew (2 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).