Atlanta United Player Contracts

Atlanta United Player Contracts: What You Need to Know

Atlanta United has been a dominant force in Major League Soccer (MLS) since joining the league in 2017. The team has won both the MLS Cup and the Campeones Cup and has a loyal fan base that has grown rapidly over the years. As a supporter of the team, you may be curious about the player contracts that allow Atlanta United to maintain its high level of performance year after year. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Atlanta United player contracts and what they mean for the team.

MLS Salary Cap and Budget

Like all MLS teams, Atlanta United must follow the league’s salary cap and budget rules. The salary cap for the 2021 season is $4.9 million per team, although additional funds can be allocated for designated players and targeted allocation money. Designated players are players whose salaries exceed the salary cap, but the team can use targeted allocation money to bring their cap hit down. The budget, which includes all salaries and acquisition costs, cannot exceed $9.225 million.

Atlanta United has taken advantage of these rules by signing high-earning designated players like Josef Martinez and Ezequiel Barco, who have both played key roles in the team’s success. However, the team has also focused on developing young talent, like George Bello and Miles Robinson, who earn salaries that are well below the designated player threshold.

Player Contracts

Atlanta United player contracts are typically three-year deals with club options for additional years. The contracts include base salaries, performance bonuses, and other incentives. The team can negotiate contracts with players within the league’s salary cap and budget rules.

Designated players like Martinez and Barco have contracts that are significantly higher than the rest of the team, with Martinez reportedly earning $3.1 million in 2019 and Barco earning $1.4 million in 2020. These high salaries can cause issues with the salary cap, but as mentioned earlier, targeted allocation money can be used to bring down their cap hit.

Young players on the team, such as Bello and Robinson, are still on their rookie contracts and earn salaries that are significantly lower than their designated player counterparts. These contracts allow the team to build a balanced roster and invest in developing young talent.


Atlanta United has found success by following the MLS salary cap and budget rules while also taking advantage of designated player spots and targeted allocation money. The team’s player contracts are structured in a way that allows them to maintain a competitive roster while investing in future talent. As a supporter of Atlanta United, it’s important to understand how the team’s player contracts work and the impact they have on the team’s success.