Atlanta United’s pipeline from their USL club continues, the club announcing on Monday the signing of defender Jack Gurr.
The defender becomes the fifth player signed to the Atlanta United first team from a USL contract.
The move to the MLS squad represents quite an accomplishment for Gurr, now in his second year with the Atlanta United organization. The Englishman, who hails from Newcastle, played his college soccer in the NAIA for Georgia Gwinnett.
“Jack joined us in Orlando for last year’s Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League and showed that he can perform at this level,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement released by the club.
The player got a first team run last year in the CONCACAF Champions League when Atlanta United played against Club America. He came off the bench to feature for 14 minutes as Atlanta churned out a 1-0 win against the Mexican juggernaut.
As things currently stand, Gurr becomes the thirteenth defender on Atlanta’s roster. While he has played in the Champions League, the defender has yet to feature with the first team in league action.
Last season, Atlanta United struggled, finishing a disappointing twelfth in the Eastern Conference, a surprise given that they were just two years removed from MLS Cup and having won the Campeones Cup in 2019. The loss of Josef Martinez early in the season essentially cut short any realistic ambitions of winning the league’s championship.
Defensively, Atlanta United was a bit suspect, although their backline was far from their biggest issue. They allowed 30 goals in 22 games.
It was their quality in attacking that was lacking. Without Martinez they scored just 23 goals, missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Gurr is a solid outside back who also has a bit of pace as well as the ability to move forward. He occupies space well and can play it between the lines as well as strike a nice cross. He also can hit the ball from distance.
His ability in the final-third shouldn’t be surprising, given that in college the First team All-A.I.I. selection had 14 goals and 22 assists in 71 games played.