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Update: Atlanta United signs centerback Derrick Williams

Some business during the reentry draft yields an experienced defender for the Five Stripes.

MLS: D.C. United at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Updated January 12, 2024: 10:00 A.M.: Atlanta United has officially announced the club has signed Derrick Williams to a contract through 2025, with an option for 2026.

Atlanta United has signed centerback Derrick Williams after selecting him in the 2023 MLS Re-Entry Draft, according to a report by Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The reentry draft, which took place on Dec. 21, is a mechanism by which teams can acquire the rights to players who are out of contract, but ineligible for free agency according to MLS guidelines.

Atlanta United acquired the rights to Williams using the number one pick in stage two of the 2023 Re-Entry draft, which they acquired from Toronto FC for $50,000 GAM and the number 19 pick.

The news was first reported by Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 30-year-old Irish defender made 24 appearances for DC United last season and 52 for LA Galaxy between 2021 and 2022.

Before making his move to MLS, Williams appeared in 152 matches for Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English soccer. Prior to that, Williams was with Bristol City where he played 131 games and helped the team win the EFL League One title in the 2014-15 campaign, achieving promotion for the following season.

A product of the Aston Villa youth system, Williams has a keen sense of awareness and has made some impressive blocks and tackles over the years. He also has a superb ball-playing ability, something that the Five Stripes will be missing without Miles Robinson.

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