Offseason needs/other players on the move
Let’s assume Atlanta loses both Martinez and Almiron. This leaves the team starved of top-end finishing and attacking talent, respectively. Does the team already have their replacements? I think an argument can be made that the team can replace part of Martinez’s game with their current roster. Replacing Almiron is a different challenge.
Romario Williams, who usually subs on for Martinez, played well in both the US Open Cup game and the few MLS games he’s appeared in. It will be impossible to replace Martinez’s otherworldly numbers and production, but he should be able to score goals regardless. I think Williams is the best current replacement, although the front office could already be looking outside of the country for its next center-forward.
As for Almiron, I think there are a couple options on the current roster. Young homegrown Andrew Carleton can feature as an attacking midfielder, as can Barco. Both played their share of the number 10 role in Atlanta’s Open Cup run, and Carleton featured as the number 10 for Atlanta United II in most of his appearances with them. I still think Atlanta will look elsewhere to replace Almiron, simply because Barco and Carleton are so young and may not be ready.
With the rest of Atlanta’s roster, I don’t imagine many players leaving. All of Atlanta’s players to this point have expressed their love for playing for the club, Martino, and the city and its fanbase. Players don’t want to leave Atlanta, although some may have to. Jeff Larentowicz is a player that comes to mind, simply because he is older (34 years old) and because Atlanta’s midfield is very strong. I am sure the front office and coaching staff would love to keep Larentowicz for midfield depth, but there is the possibility of him not re-signing with the team.
Kevin Kratz is another player that may be on the move. He shined in front of the league earlier this season with his set-piece heroics against Montreal Impact. It is likely he caught the attention of a lot of league front offices and I expect other MLS teams to come looking to sign Kratz. Again, with Atlanta’s strong midfield, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kratz signed with another team.
Atlanta will have a busy offseason no matter what happens. The front office and coaching staff are always looking for ways to improve the team, whether it’s replacing their departing star players or shoring up the team’s depth.