MLS Free Agency has opened and Atlanta United may soon be very active if recent rumors are to be believed. On Thursday, the Five Stripes have been linked to two different players as potential reinforcements for the 2023 season.
We begin with the most notable one coming from a report from MLSSoccer.com’s rumor fiend Tommy “Scoops” Bogert. He tweets that Atlanta United are in discussions to sign winger Derrick Etienne Jr. formerly of the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls.
Source: Atlanta United are working on deal to sign free agent winger Derrick Etienne Jr. He's Atlanta meeting with the club, touring the facilities. Nothing done yet but positive signs.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) November 17, 2022
Etienne, turning 26 next week, had career best 9g/6a in 2022. Won 2020 MLS Cup with Columbus. pic.twitter.com/zf13iqETVf
At just 26, Etienne Jr. is coming off the best season of his career and would seemingly fit Gonzalo Pineda’s ideal 4-3-3 system very nicely. Where exactly he would fit into the rotation of attackers currently on the roster is up for debate, but it would be a strong acquisition if it comes to fruition.
Soccer Journalist Favian Renkel is reporting that the club are interested in signing veteran center back Tony Alfaro, most recently with D.C. United to help with their defensive depth.
Per Sources, #ATLUTD is interested in signing 29 year old CB Tony Alfaro. Alfaro had 43 appearances in 2 years with #DCU and is coming off a 82.4% passing success rate. Atlanta United is looking to bolster the defensive side of the ball with this move. #MLS #Chivas #Sounders pic.twitter.com/2Mh7l5Pub6— Favian Renkel (@FavianRenkel) November 17, 2022
As we found out in the most harshest of ways in 2022, you can never have enough cover for your back line. While Alfaro isn’t the type of signing that would cause mass pandemonium, he’s the type of role player that could help most MLS teams. So, this rumor makes a lot of sense as the club have let go of Alex DeJohn.