JJ Williams - Columbus Crew SC - close-up


Atlanta United
have begun the process of trying to replace
Josef Martinez
, according to a Thursday report from Sam Stejskal of
The Athletic
Per Stejskal, the Five Stripes are set to sign forward and former
Columbus Crew SC
MLS SuperDraft pick
JJ Williams
, with another signing at the position expected to follow.

It's an expected development for Atlanta, who were dealt a devastating blow in their season-opening 2-1 victory over Nashville SC when Martinez went down in the second half with what was later diagnosed as a torn ACL.

The injury left Adam Jahn as the club's lone forward.

Williams, 22, is a product of the University of Kentucky, where he netted 24 goals in 57 games for the Wildcats from 2016-2018. While in college, he featured for National Premier Soccer League side Birmingham Hammers and Premier Development League outfits Reading United and Dayton Dutch Lions before Crew SC made him the No. 18 overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. While with Columbus, he made 21 appearances on loan with USL Championship side Birmingham Legion, scoring seven goals. Williams was waived by the Crew last month.