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Atlanta United Signs Four Players to Short-Term Agreements

May 21, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Atlanta United FC News Release

ATLANTA - Atlanta United today announced that it has signed Alan Carleton, Matt Edwards, Ashton Gordon and Jacob Williams to Short-Term Agreements ahead of Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup match against Charleston Battery (7:00 p.m. ET,, 92.9 The Game, La Mejor).

Per 2024 MLS Roster Rules and Regulations, a club may sign a player, age 25 or younger during the league season, from its affiliate (MLS NEXT Pro) to a maximum of four Short-Term Agreements (up to four-day contracts) each season (maximum of 16 days). An individual player may be included on up to four MLS league season match rosters each season, however, that player may appear in no more than two MLS league season matches. An individual player may appear in any number of non-league games during the terms of his four Short-Term Agreements.

A club may roster up to four players on Short-Term Agreements per MLS league season match, so long as they are Homegrown Players or Players earning less than or equal to the MLS Senior Minimum Salary ($89,716) with the affiliate. This number will be reduced to one player per MLS league season match after Roster Freeze (inclusive of MLS Cup Playoffs). Additional players may also be signed to Short-Term Agreements for MLS league season games but only in cases of Extreme Hardship.

Carleton is in his second full season with Atlanta United 2 after signing a professional contract ahead of the 2023 season. The Powder Springs native was a member of the first-ever Atlanta United Academy team that took the pitch in 2016 at the Generation adidas Cup. In 2024, Carleton has appeared in seven matches, four starts, for Atlanta's MLS NEXT Pro affiliate. This is Carleton's second short-term agreement with Atlanta, having previously made the match day squad for the club's matchup against Columbus Crew in March 2023. The 19-year-old midfielder made 19 appearances last season for ATL UTD 2, recording an assist against New York Red Bulls II.

Edwards has signed three short-term agreements since joining Atlanta United 2 on Dec. 22, 2023, following his three seasons at the University of North Carolina. The 21-year-old defender made his Atlanta United debut during the club's U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 match against Charlotte Independence, where he played 64 minutes and registered an assist in the club's 3-0 victory. The ATL UTD 2 captain has played in eight matches, seven starts, in the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro campaign, anchoring Atlanta's defense that has kept three clean sheets this season. Edwards joined the Atlanta United Academy in 2019 at the U-17 level and served as captain of the U-19 side. Edwards made his professional debut during the 2020 USL Championship season when he made eight appearances for ATL UTD 2.

Gordon signed with Atlanta United 2 on Jan. 29, 2024, after playing for Atlanta United's Academy since 2019. The 17-year-old forward made his First Team debut during the club's 3-0 triumph over Charlotte Independence in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32, where he played for 64 minutes. He has appeared in two matches for ATL UTD 2 this season. In 2023, Gordon played with Atlanta United's U-17 side and helped lead the U-16 squad to an MLS NEXT Cup championship in June, leading the team with four goals during the playoff rounds of the tournament. Internationally, Gordon has made six appearances and registered two goals for Jamacia's youth national teams. During the 2024 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualifiers, he made two appearances and scored the match-winning goal in a 3-2 win over Bermuda.

Williams joined Atlanta United 2 on December 21, 2023, after spending last season with MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference champions Crown Legacy FC. The 24-year-old defender/midfielder has made eight appearances, including six starts, for ATL UTD 2 this season. He tallied three goals and two assists for Charlotte FC's MLS NEXT Pro affiliate last season through 24 matches. Prior to his time in MLS NEXT Pro, Williams spent four years at Navy where he garnered United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region honors in each of his four seasons, as well as being named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year in 2021.

Atlanta United roster (as of May 21, 2024)

Goalkeepers (3): Josh Cohen, Brad Guzan, Quentin Westberg

Defenders (9): Luis Abram, Noah Cobb, Matt Edwards^, Stian Gregersen, Ronald Hernández, Brooks Lennon, Efraín Morales, Caleb Wiley, Derrick Williams

Midfielders (12): Thiago Almada, Alan Carleton^, Nick Firmino, Ajani Fortune, Saba Lobjanidze, Dax McCarty, Edwin Mosquera, Tristan Muyumba, Bartosz Slisz, Adyn Torres, Jacob Williams^, Tyler Wolff

Forwards (6): Luke Brennan, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Ashton Gordon^, Daniel Ríos*, Xande Silva, Jamal Thiaré

*On loan from CD Guadalajara

^ Short-term agreement

Loaned Out for 2024 season: Franco Ibarra (Rosario Central), Santiago Sosa (Racing Club), Erik Centeno (ATL UTD 2)

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