ATLANTA, GEORGIA—If recent rumors are to be believed, MLS Free Agency has begun, and Atlanta United may soon be active. The Five Stripes have been associated with two distinct players as prospective additions for the 2023 season as of Thursday.
We start with the most noteworthy one, according to a report from Tommy “Scoops” Bogert, the rumor hound for MLSSoccer.com. He tweets that winger Derrick Etienne Jr., previously of the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls, is being courted by Atlanta United.
Etienne Jr., who recently completed his most outstanding season at age 26, appears to be a perfect fit for Gonzalo Pineda’s ideal 4-3-3 style. It’s unclear how he would fit into the roster’s current rotation of attackers, but if he were to join the team, it would be a strong one.
The team is reportedly interested in acquiring experienced center defender Tony Alfaro, who most recently played for D.C., according to soccer journalist Favian Renkel. United to bolster their depth in defense. You can never have enough cover for your back line, as we discovered in 2022 in the harshest of ways. Alfaro is the kind of role player who could benefit most MLS teams, even though his signing won’t result in widespread chaos. Because the club fired Alex DeJohn, this report makes a lot of sense.