Even before Atlanta United failed to pick up the contract option of defender Tyrone Mears, it was clear that he was unlikely to return in 2018. The 35-year-old now has a new home, and it’s with Atlanta’s fellow expansion partner from 2017.
Mears was selected by Minnesota United with the fourth pick in the first stage of this afternoon’s MLS Re-Entry Draft. It will be Mears’ third MLS club in four years, with a two-season stint in Seattle with the Sounders preceding his time in Atlanta.
Mears was the starter at right back for the first half of the season, but with his decline in play, youngster Anton Walkes eventually took over as starter at right back and Mears was relegated to a substitute’s role. After a shaky start, Walkes was able to show enough improvement to make Mears expendable. The team was able to gain a new face at the position with the signing of former Newell’s Old Boys defender Franco Escobar.
Atlanta held the 13th pick in the Re-Entry Draft and passed on selecting a player. If they so desire, they can choose any remaining players available on the list during Stage 2, which will be held on Thursday.