Today, Atlanta United 2 announced it has transferred team captain Robbie Mertz to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, pending league and federation approval. The transfer includes conditional compensation for Atlanta.
Mertz joined ATL UTD 2 in January 2021 from Riverhounds SC. The midfielder has started 46 of his 48 appearances and scored four goals for ATL UTD 2. The Pennsylvania native has also registered 11 assists with the club.
Mertz became a key player for Jack Collison’s Atlanta United 2 teams, not only serving as the team’s captain and senior player but also offering Collison the benefit of having another coach on the field. Mertz brought relentless energy that fueled his young teammates and helped shape their fearless pursuit of opponents. Many speculated that Mertz, like Aidan McFadden, would be considered for promotion to Atlanta United’s first team in the offseason but the club seems to be heading in a different direction.
Atlanta United 2 sits near the bottom of the USL Championship Eastern Conference heading into the back half of their final season in the league. With Mertz departing, the onus of central midfield responsibility will fall on young academy prospects like Ajani Fortune and Brendan Lambe. Over the last few weeks, Fortune developed a strong partnership with Mertz in the 2s midfield, but that partnership seems to be shifting to one of Fortune and homegrown player Efrain Morales for the foreseeable future.
Thank you Robbie Mertz for your fantastic contribution to this team and to the Atlanta United organization!