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Atlanta United re-signs Efraín Morales


ATLANTA — Atlanta United today announced it has signed defender Efraín Morales to a contract extension through the 2024 season with an option for the 2025 season and an option for the 2026 season. Morales finished the 2023 season on loan to Atlanta United 2 and started all 20 of his MLS NEXT Pro appearances.

“Efraín is a player who has continued to improve along his pathway from our inaugural U-12 side to Atlanta United 2 and the First Team,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “We’re excited to sign him to a contract extension and look forward to his continued development at the club.”

During the 2023 season, the 19-year-old Homegrown recorded 1,722 minutes of play and led the team in aerial duel percentage (69.2%) while being on the field for all five clean sheets this season. The Bolivian American also finished second on the team in passing accuracy at 91.4% and completed passes with 1,091. Morales added one goal to his 2023 campaign on May 14 versus Crown Legacy FC when the defender scored off a set piece cross sent in by Tyler Wolff.

Morales has been with Atlanta United since the team’s inaugural Academy U-12 team and signed a Homegrown contract on Aug. 12, 2020. He made his professional debut with ATL UTD 2 on Aug. 16, 2020 at Charleston Battery in the USL Championship when the then 16-year-old scored as a substitute. His first professional start came a couple days later in a 2-2 draw against Miami FC. Overall, Morales has made 54 professional appearances, all for ATL UTD 2, and has scored two goals.

On the international stage, Morales has earned six caps with the Bolivia U-20 side, including participating in the Conmebol U-20 Championships earlier this year. Most recently, the defender earned a call-up to join Bolivia’s senior national team camp for the first time for 2026 World Cup Qualifiers in September.

Player Profile

Name: Efraín Morales

Pronunciation: Eff-rye-een Morales

Position: Defender

Height: 6-3

Birthdate: March 4, 2004 (19)

Birthplace: Decatur, Georgia

Citizenship: United States, Bolivia

Transaction: Atlanta United extends Efraín Morales through the 2024 season with an option for the 2025 season and an option for the 2026 season on Nov. 29, 2023.

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