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Atlanta United announce year-end roster moves ahead of 2021 season

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The club officially parts with a pair of homegrowns, including Andrew Carleton, one of the club’s initial signings.

SOCCER: SEP 23 MLS - FC Dallas at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Atlanta United announced its annual collection of year-end roster moves that signals another changing of the guard as the club finally moves on from its first homegrown signing Andrew Carleton, and potentially one of its most established veterans in Jeff Larentowicz.

Per the club’s press release this morning:

The club declined contract options on Carleton, Edgar Castillo, Manuel Castro, Lagos Kunga, Brendan Moore, Erick “Cubo” Torres, J.J. Williams and Laurence Wyke. Jeff Larentowicz is out of contract. Moore and Torres will participate in the upcoming Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League held Dec. 15-22, with training camp scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 30.

Players under contract for 2021 (17): Ezequiel Barco, George Campbell, Jürgen Damm, Brad Guzan, Emerson Hyndman, Adam Jahn, Alec Kann, Brooks Lennon, Josef Martinez, Fernando Meza, Marcelino Moreno, Jake Mulraney, Eric Remedi, Miles Robinson, Matheus Rossetto, Anton Walkes, Tyler Wolff

Players out of contract (1): Jeff Larentowicz

Option exercised (4): Mo Adams, George Bello, Franco Escobar, Jon Gallagher

Option declined (8): Andrew Carleton, Edgar Castillo, Manuel Castro, Lagos Kunga, Brendan Moore, Erick “Cubo” Torres, J.J. Williams, Laurence Wyke

Of the departing players, Larentowicz and Torres will be available through Free Agency. Castillo, Castro, Kunga, Moore, Williams and Wyke will be available through the MLS Re-Entry Process. Carleton will be available through MLS End-of-Year Waivers.

The MLS offseason officially begins Sunday, Dec. 13 at 9:00 a.m. with the Half-Day Trade Window. The MLS Expansion Draft is set for Tuesday, Dec. 15; however, Atlanta United’s roster is protected because it had a player selected in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft. End-of-Year Waivers and MLS Free Agency will open Wednesday, Dec. 16. For a full breakdown of the MLS offseason calendar, click here.

We will have more details on this story after Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra speaks with media Tuesday morning.

Initial thoughts: No real surprising moves given the players that had club options up this year. Atlanta United opted to keep Bello, Escobar, Gallagher and Adams for an additional year. Perhaps the most edifying thing these moves indicate is that players on the fringes of the squad like Jake Mulraney, Alec Kann, Tyler Wolff, etc. all have contracts that guaranteed through 2021. Safe to say this is just the beginning of the wheeling and dealing set to take place this offseason.

And let’s take this opportunity to pout one out for Larentowicz, one of the most pleasant surprises for Atlanta United fans since he commanded a starting role during the club’s charter season. We don’t know officially yet if he’s retiring, but if he will indeed do so, he can go out with his head high and a championship trophy in his locker.