September 16, 2017 Atlanta - Atlanta United fans cheer before an MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Saturday’s Atlanta United match against Orlando City will be the third at Mercedes-Benz for the first-year franchise, and a new Major League Soccer single-game attendance record is expected to be set in the latest meeting of the southern MLS rivals. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Atlanta United declines options on Jones, Tambakis

Atlanta United announced several roster moves on Monday, including declining the options on goalkeeper Alex Tambakis, the team’s first-ever announced signing, striker Kenwyne Jones and Jeffrey Otoo, who spent the season on-loan at Charleston.

Jones had guaranteed compensation of $413,333.33 in the 2017 season, according to the MLS Players Union. It was the third-highest salary on the team among those who aren’t Designated Players.

Additionally, the club declined options to retain Marietta’s Mark Bloom $106,573.89), Zach Loyd ($85,008) and Tyrone Mears ($183,756). All three are fullbacks. Bloom, 29, appeared in just two games. Mears started 16 games and appeared in 20. Loyd didn’t play in a league game. The club also declined the option on midfielder Harrison Heath ($66,150). Contracts with goalkeeper Kyle Reynish ($65,004) and defender Bobby Boswell ($260,000) expired.

The club exercised contract options on goalkeeper Alec Kann, a native of Decatur, fullback Mikey Ambrose, midfielders Julian Gressel and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu and forward Romario Williams, who didn’t play for the team but was a standout on loan with Charleston in the USL. Kann started the season’s first 18 games before sustaining an injury. Gressel was named the MLS Rookie of the Year and Ambrose started two games and appeared in five more.

The club has contracts with goalkeeper Brad Guzan, defenders Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Miles Robinson, midfielders Miguel Almiron, Andrew Carleton, Carlos Carmona, Chris Goslin, Kevin Kratz and Chris McCann and forwards Josef Martinez, Jacob Peterson, Brandon Vazquez and Hector Villalba.

Nothing was announced about midfielder Yamil Asad and fullbacks Greg Garza and Anton Walkes, who were on loan with the club, and versatile midfielder Jeff Larentowicz.

The club has 22 players under contract for the 2018 season, which includes Homegrown signings George Bello, Lagos Kunga and Patrick Okonkwo. MLS rosters can contain as many as 30 players in the 2017 season.

Atlanta United will protect 11 players, not including Homegrowns and Generation Adidas, ahead of the LAFC expansion draft on Dec. 12. 

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