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Atlanta United acquires forward J.J. Williams

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Atlanta United adds a young striker prospect

MLS: SuperDraft Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United announced today that it has acquired J.J. Williams, previously with Birmingham Legion FC.

“JJ is someone that had been on our radar over the offseason and we’re pleased to add him to our roster,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He is coming off a strong season with Birmingham and will provide additional competition to our attack.”

Williams is a striker who will occupy a supplemental roster spot as a player on a Generation Adidas contract. The Alabama native got his first taste of professional soccer after being selected No. 18 overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. He made seven appearances for Crew SC, including three starts.

This is not The Josef Replacement™ and is a deal that has been in the works well prior to the Venezuelan’s ACL tear suffered in the team’s MLS opener on February 29 against Nashville SC. Williams spent the 2019 season on loan in a game-by-game basis with USL Championship side Birmingham Legion FC, where he made 17 appearances (15 starts) and scored seven goals.

Williams played three seasons at the University of Kentucky, making 57 appearances (30 starts), scoring 24 goals and providing 15 assists from 2016-2018. In 2018, Williams made 22 appearances (all starts), tallying 18 goals and eight assists en route to earning the following honors: United Soccer Coaches First Team All- American, USC First Team All-Southeast Region, Southeastern Conference USA Player of the Year, SEC USA Offensive Most Valuable Player and SEC Conference Tournament MVP. Additionally, Williams was a 2018 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Semifinalist.