Atlanta United Signs Matt Edwards to Homegrown Deal

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ATLANTA – Atlanta United announced today that it has signed defender Matt Edwards as a Homegrown Player, effective immediately, through the 2025 season with options through 2027.

“Matt joined our Academy at the U-17 level and has been patient with his development process, returning to the club after playing three seasons at North Carolina before earning his role as captain for Atlanta United 2,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He’s been a consistent performer this year and has earned this Homegrown contract with his play on the field this season. He’s a high-character teammate and is a shining example of the different pathways that players can take to earning a First Team contract.”

Edwards signed with Atlanta United 2 on Dec. 22, 2023 following three seasons at the University of North Carolina. He joined the Atlanta United Academy in 2019 at the U-17 level and served as captain of the U-19 side. The versatile defender made his professional debut during the 2020 USL Championship season when he made eight appearances for ATL UTD 2. With the Tar Heels, the Apex, North Carolina native played in 43 matches over three seasons. He played in 18 matches, including 16 starts, and recorded two assists in his final season in 2023, helping North Carolina make a run to the ACC Tournament Final and the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals.

The 21-year-old defender made his Atlanta United debut during the club's U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 match against Charlotte Independence, where he played 64 minutes and registered an assist in the club’s 3-0 victory. Edwards also started in Atlanta’s U.S. Open Cup match against Charleston Battery, where he helped to keep another clean sheet before Atlanta advanced on penalty kicks. The ATL UTD 2 captain has played in 10 matches, nine starts, in the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro campaign, anchoring Atlanta’s defense that has kept three clean sheets this season.

Player Profile

Name: Matt Edwards

Position: Defender

Height: 5-10

Birthdate: Feb. 16, 2003 (Age: 21)

Birthplace: Apex, North Carolina

Nationality: United States

Transaction: Atlanta United signs Matt Edwards to a Homegrown contract on June 21, 2024.

Atlanta United roster (as of June 21, 2024)

Goalkeepers (3): Josh Cohen, Brad Guzan, Quentin Westberg  

Defenders (9): Luis Abram, Noah Cobb, Matt Edwards, Stian Gregersen, Ronald Hernández, Brooks Lennon, Efraín Morales, Caleb Wiley, Derrick Williams

Midfielders (10): Thiago Almada, Nick Firmino, Jay Fortune, Saba Lobjanidze, Dax McCarty, Edwin Mosquera, Tristan Muyumba, Bartosz Slisz, Adyn Torres, Tyler Wolff

Forwards (4): Luke Brennan, Daniel Ríos*, Xande Silva, Jamal Thiaré    

*On loan from CD Guadalajara  

Loaned Out for 2024 season: Franco Ibarra (Rosario Central), Santiago Sosa (Racing Club), Erik Centeno (ATL UTD 2), Aiden McFadden (Louisville City FC)