The list of free agents for 2023 is public, thanks to MLS Players Association.
Five Austin FC players are on it heading into this offseason. Hector Jimenez is the only one out of contract, giving him the freedom to negotiate a new deal with any club. The other four players have a club option.
Here’s the full MLSPA list of 130 free-agency eligible players in MLS (including those with an option year).
2023 Austin FC free agents
Austin FC free agents for 2023 are listed below, including contract type and 2022 guaranteed compensation.
|Name||Position||Contract||Salary (Guaranteed $)|
|Hector Jimenez||D||Out of Contract||$200,000|
Austin can decline the option on any of these players, making them free to sign with another club in the off-season.
Austin FC free agents: stay or go?
In our view, there are two players on this list who must clearly remain on the roster: Brad Stuver and Felipe Martins.
Brad Stuver has been exceptional for the Verde, both on and off the field. Besides being a finalist for the 2022 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, he’s a league-leading MLS shot-stopper. Give the man a raise and lock him up for many years to come. STUUU has played 1,628 minutes this season.
Felipe Martins has proven his worth on the pitch and in the locker room. He’s played in 18 games (4 starts) and scored one goal this season. Wolff surely has to be pleased with his performance, and the front office has to love the value they’re getting for his wage bill. Felipe was brought in this season to play a particular role, and he’s done that job well. Heck, take the option on Tik Martins too.
On the fence
Hector Jimenez is the only player out of contract in 2023. Re-upping at Austin FC makes sense in many ways. He’s been a regular rotation piece for Nick Lima at right back, having played in 12 games (535 minutes). The big question is how he recovers from a groin injury expected to keep him out at least six games. Also, the defense at both back positions has struggled at times, so it wouldn’t surprise us if Wolff looks for new players in the offseason to bolster those positions.
Danny Hoesen has been given his opportunities up top, but in our view hasn’t been the goal-finisher that ATX is looking for. In 2022, he’s logged 204 minutes and tallied two goals-scored. Combined with a salary on the high end of the scale, it feels like the front office goes in a different direction in the offseason. How’s that for an HR response?
Andrew Tarbell was seemingly the frontrunner at the goalkeeper position coming into the inaugural season last year. Then, Brad Stuver re-introduced himself to MLS and never looked back. Ever since, Tarbell has found minutes hard to come by (352 minutes in 2022) and when he has played it hasn’t been lights-out. With Pulisic and Las (acquired in 2022 from Chicago Fire) waiting in the wings, it seems like Tarbell’s days in Austin are coming to an end.
Who do you think Austin FC should keep or cut?
Cover Photo Credit: Austin FC Instagram
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