Atlanta United has announced the signing of a key piece from last season, inking Greg Garza to a multi-year deal Wednesday.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) November 29, 2017
Atlanta United Sign Greg Garza to Multi-Year Contract
The 26-year-old left back spent the previous season on loan from Club Tijuana where he had been signed since 2011. Previously, it was unclear as to whether or not Atlanta United would be able to buy the defender from the Liga MX side or if they would have to try and replace Garza before next season. The details of the signing haven’t been released, but an Atlanta United statement says that it is a multi-year contract.
The signing is huge for the young club, as Garza managed to have a strong defending and attacking presence over the course of the season. He scored two goals and assisted on five others over the course of 2,150 minutes. Garza went down during the MLS All-Star game with a separated shoulder. It’s not the first time in his career he had been sidelined with an injury. He missed a whole season with a lingering hip injury when he was still playing in Mexico.
Impact on the Roster
The will affect the club’s list of players exempt from the MLS Expansion Draft later on December 12th. Each team gets to protect 11 players with Homegrowns being exempt, while Los Angeles FC will get to pick five players from around the league. The signing will bring the eligible roster to 18 players for Atlanta United. Now, the club will have to find a spot on their protected players list. However, it shouldn’t be too difficult considering Garza would have been the second player that Atlanta would’ve lost from the starting XI of the previous year. With Yamil Asad’s loan over with, the club only has 10 of their starters to protect. Many of the young and promising players, including Andrew Carleton, are Homegrowns and thus are exempt.
Overall, Garza’s signing is a big relief for the club and their supporters. Garza is a veteran on the backline and still has a lot of playing time ahead of him. He is a solid defender, helps with the attacking play as well, and the signing doesn’t impact the Expansion Draft protected list too much. The front office definitely got this one right.