Amid Leagues Cup action, the MLS Players Association released the official list of players who are eligible for free agency ahead of the 2024 season as well as free-agency eligible players who are out of contract but have an option year remaining on their contract. Players who are at least age 24 with at least five MLS service years that are either option-declined or out-of-contract at the end of the 2023 MLS season are eligible for free agency.
As expected, Miles Robinson, Ozzie Alonso, Clemente Diop, and Quentin Westburg are all featured on this list, with Diop as the only one of the three on an option year.
A quick glance further down the lengthy list of players shows how far free agency has come in MLS in its brief 8-year history. This is easily the largest and deepest class of players ever to hit the free agent market in modern American soccer. A mini-documentary accompanying the MLS PA’s release celebrates this hard-won accomplishment and shows how far the league has come in its comparatively short history.
Former Atlanta United favorites like Josef Martinez, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Darlington Nagbe, Alec Kann, Julian Gressel, and Justin Meram all feature in what should be a highly active and competitive winter window with rumors swirling of a potential 4th Designated Player roster slot, record growth of salary cap space accompanied by a swelling xAM pool, and potentially other roster construction tools to harness the power of Messi and the road to the 2026 World Cup.
Atlanta United will be well-suited to take advantage of this free-agent market after spending the last two windows shedding bad contracts and dead money while churning the roster with an eye toward the future. Based on comments this season by club president Garth Lagerway, all of the pain and frustration of the roster rebuild may have been aimed at taking full advantage of this transformative wave of talent.
While players like Robinson, Kai Wagner, Kellyn Acosta, and Carles Gil may opt to test the European market, there are plenty more who could make Atlanta United immediate contenders. Atlanta will be looking to rebuild their goalkeeping corps and defense while also looking to add quality depth up and down the roster. This list of players does not include any whole options that will be declined in November, are unsigned draft picks, are waiver eligible, or are 22 years old or older with at least one MLS service year and are not eligible for Free Agency.
Which players from this free agency class will join Atlanta United? And which do you think we should sign? Let us know in the comments below.