Julian Gressel goal celebration vs. PHI
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United exercise contract options on Julian Gressel, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Roster update

Atlanta United announced their end-of-season roster decisions on Thursday, with two key members of the squad set to return for 2020.

Atlanta announced they exercised the contract options of starting defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and midfielder/defender Julian Gressel, both of whom have played major roles for the Five Stripes over the past three years. Gonzalez Pirez was an MLS All-Star in 2019 and Gressel was the 2017 MLS Rookie of the Year, both players playing no fewer than 31 games every regular season the last three years.

In addition, Atlanta picked up the contract options of midfielders Mo Adams and Andrew Carleton.

Goalkeeper Alec Kann and midfielder Jeff Larentowicz are out of contract, and the club has extended contract offers to both players. 

Meanwhile, the club declined the contract options of Justin Meram, Florentin Pogba, Jose Hernandez, Chris Goslin and Patrick Okonkwo. Meram is eligible for free agency, while the others will be eligible to be selected on waivers.

Mikey AmbroseKevin Kratz, and Brek Shea are out of contract. Ambrose will be available through the Re-Entry Draft and Kratz through waivers, while Shea is eligible for free agency. 

Furthermore, Atlanta announced they maintain Emerson Hyndman's loan rights through the end of 2019.

The Five Stripes reached the Eastern Conference Final in 2019, but could not repeat as MLS Cup champions. They did, however, win their first U.S. Open Cup title and became the first MLS team to win the Campeones Cup, while adjusting to a new system under head coach Frank de Boer.

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