Where we left off last year
2023 season: 51 points, 6th in the Eastern Conference
Atlanta United had a good, but never-great 2023, qualifying for the postseason before losing their opening round series to the Columbus Crew.
There’s no shame in crashing out to the eventual MLS Cup champions, but Atlanta showed consistent weaknesses throughout the year — poor goalkeeping and a lack of control in midfield — that held them back from truly contending in the East. A handful of key signings in the summer transfer window helped bolster the club in their second full season under manager Gonzalo Pineda, but those moves weren’t quite enough to help Atlanta push for their first trophy since 2019.
What changed in the offseason
- Josh Cohen, GK: After Brad Guzan’s brutal 2023 where he allowed more goals than expected than all but one other goalkeeper in MLS, Atlanta needed someone to compete with (and eventually start over) Guzan. Cohen performed will with Maccabi Haifa in his last club stint, helping them reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
- Dax McCarty, DM: A long-time MLS veteran, McCarty won’t be an every-game starter in 2024. Still, the 36-year-old can provide valuable ball-progression as a rotation piece. He’ll be a quality presence in the locker room, too.
- Stian Gregersen, CB: Coming from Bordeaux in the French Ligue 2, Gregersen was brought in to be the club’s Miles Robinson replacement. It’s a high bar, but Gregersen looks like he has both the physical and the technical tools to lead Atlanta United's backline.
- Bartosz Slisz, CM: Adding Slisz fills a big need for Atlanta next to Tristan Muyumba. The 24-year-old signed from the Polish top-flight and is a no-frills central midfielder, moving the ball with purpose (but not flair) and covering ground in the counter press. Slisz should help give Gonzalo Pineda’s 4-2-3-1 a strong foundation.