Atlanta United’s new defender is officially in the fold.
The club on Thursday announced that it had signed centerback and Norwegian international Stian Rode Gregersen from Ligue 2 side Bordeaux on a deal that runs through 2027 with an option for 2028. Financial terms were not released per club policy, but according to reports from Polish media and The Athletic’s Tom Bogert, Atlanta paid a transfer fee of $3.5 million for Gregersen’s services.
“Stian has been a consistent performer across multiple leagues and is comfortable defending with space behind him, as well as in an organized block,” vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “He is someone who reads the game well, has a presence, and helps command the back line through organization and leadership. We are excited for him to join Atlanta United and bolster our defense
With the departure of Miles Robinson for FC Cincinnati and the return of Juanjo Purata to Tigres UANL, Atlanta needed an infusion of experience and in-prime talent to its young defensive corps made up of three Homegrown Players and Luis Abram. Per Bogert, Atlanta United initially identified Gregersen along with free agent Jonathan Mensah as two potential key backline signings this winter. At first glance, this did not feel like a scenario where Atlanta United would have to choose one or the other based on the different profiles and roles these players would offer the club.
However, Mensah, who signed for the Columbus Crew in 2017 from Russia’s 2nd division and played there under Caleb Porter from 2019-2022, eventually decided to join the New England Revolution to reunite with his former coach. Meanwhile, Gregersen, who projects to be the day-1 starter at CB alongside Luis Abram, is the latest signing to arrive from the French professional ranks, joining Tristan Muyumba (Guingamp), Xande Silva (Dijon), and Jamal Thiaré (Le Havre).
The 28-year-old has good speed and mobility, but his most attractive feature may be his passing. Not only can he play center back, but he can also play as a towering defensive midfielder. Standing at about 6-foot 3-inches (1.91 meters), he adds height to an otherwise shorter starting defensive group.
Just three years removed from playing with Bordeaux in the Europa League and two years removed from Ligue 1, Gregersen fits the kind of experienced in-prime players the club has prioritized recently.
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