Atlanta United 2 signs three players for 2024 season


Atlanta United 2 today announced three signings for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season. Goalkeeper John Berner and midfielders Noble Okello and Jacob Williams were signed as free agents ahead of next year’s campaign, each bringing MLS NEXT Pro experience to the club. All three signings are pending federation approval.

Berner, 32, is a former 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick by the Colorado Rapids. The St. Louis, Missouri native played collegiately at SIU Edwardsville before being selected in the MLS SuperDraft. He made his MLS debut in March 2014 and the following season played with Charlotte Independence in the USL Championship and started 17 matches. In 2016, Berner recorded a career-high seven clean sheets in 20 appearances with the Independence. After stops in Phoenix and Memphis, Berner joined Huntsville City FC as a player and assistant coach in 2023. He made eight starts and finished with 28 total saves. Berner is under contract through the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Okello, 23, was born in Toronto, Ontario and is a former midfielder for the Canadian National Team. He came up through the Toronto FC Academy and made his professional debut in 2017 with TFC II in the USL Championship. He earned a Homegrown contract with Toronto FC in January 2019 and made his MLS debut with Toronto’s First Team at the MLS is Back Tournament in 2020 before making a career-high 14 appearances in MLS the following season. In 2023, Okello signed with New England Revolution II and made 12 total appearances, finishing the year with one goal scored. Okello is under contact through the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Williams, 24, joins ATL UTD 2 after one season with Crown Legacy FC, the MLS NEXT Pro affiliate for Charlotte FC. The former Navy standout made 24 appearances, including 15 starts, last season in MLS NEXT Pro. He finished the year with three goals and two assists. His first professional goal came on May 19 against Huntsville City FC. In the 2023 regular season finale, Williams scored a brace in a 4-0 win vs. Toronto FC II. He was a prolific college player for Navy, earning 2021 Patriot League Player of the Year honors and being named to the First Team All-Patriot League in three of his four seasons. Williams is under contract through the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season with a club option for 2025.

Player Profiles

Name: John Berner 
Position: Goalkeeper 
Height: 6-3 
Birthdate: Feb. 14, 1991 (32)   
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri 
Citizenship: United States
Transaction: Atlanta United 2 signs John Berner for 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Name: Noble Okello 
Position: Midfielder 
Height: 6-5 
Birthdate: July 20, 2000 (23)   
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Citizenship: Canada 
Transaction: Atlanta United 2 signs Noble Okello for 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Name: Jacob Williams 
Position: Midfielder 
Height: 5-8 
Birthdate: Nov. 8, 1999 (24)   
Birthplace: Millersville, Maryland 
Citizenship: United States
Transaction: Atlanta United 2 signs Jacob Williams for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season with a team option for 2025.

Atlanta United 2 Roster (as of Dec. 21, 2023)

Goalkeeper (1): John Berner
Midfielders (8): Luke Brennan, Alan Carleton, Matías Gallardo, Nick Firmino, Noble Okello, Adyn Torres*, Jonantan Villal, Jacob Williams 
Forwards (1): Karim Tmimi 

* - becomes a First Team deal effective Jan. 1, 2024