Position: Left back
2021 League Games: 63 minutes in four appearances, one start
What went right in 2021
Just by looking at his league minutes and appearances from last season, you can probably already tell not much went right for Atlanta United’s boy scout (I hope that reference isn’t outdated) last season. Last season, Ambrose got 15 minutes on the field in a 3-0 loss to Chicago, two minutes in a 2-2 draw with Nashville, one minute in a 1-1 draw with Cincinnati, and 45 minutes in a 3-2 loss to Orlando. His performance against Orlando City was so dismal that he got yanked at halftime and didn’t make another appearance for the first team for the rest of the season. According to Fbref.com, Ambrose played five starts in five appearances and played 427 for Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship. That’s all to say, it wasn’t a great season for Ambrose as a depth player.
What to improve in 2022
George Bello is no longer an Atlanta United player and is now plying his trade in the Bundesliga for Arminia Bielefeld, but Andrew Gutman has slotted straight into the left back role throughout preseason and will be the starting left back moving forward. Caleb Wiley, the latest Atlanta United homegrown player, will also factor into the equation of how many chances Ambrose will have to prove himself to head coach Gonzalo Pineda. As we all know, injuries can disrupt an MLS team’s season and depth in MLS is of the utmost importance. Being prepared to step in and contribute quality minutes when required is the next step for Ambrose in 2022.
2022 Season Outlook
As a professional and competitor, there’s no doubt that Ambrose wants to be on the field. I’m not sure if Gonzalo Pineda thinks that Wiley is ready to compete at the MLS level from the start of the season, but Wiley will probably start out getting some minutes with the 2s before really having the chance to stake a claim for first team minutes. Ambrose will be looking to capitalize on opportunities during that period. It’s probably unrealistic to expect Ambrose to start more than a handful of games this season if he starts any at all, but as stated earlier, he needs to be ready when the opportunity comes along.