Atlanta United

Atlanta United in goalkeeping crisis after Brad Guzan injury

Lizzy Becherano
Guzan could be out for the season
Guzan could be out for the season / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United announced on Monday that starting goalkeeper and club captain Brad Guzan suffered a ruptured right Achilles’ tendon during Saturday’s 0-0 draw against FC Cincinnati. 

While the club did not provide an estimated return, the usual recovery time for the injury falls between four to six months. 

His absence is a huge blow for Atlanta United. Guzan has been a crucial part of the team’s success, inspiring them to an MLS Cup, the US Open Cup and the Campeones. He also stands as the club’s all-time leader in appearance. 

To make matters worse, third-string goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira also suffered a ruptured Achilles earlier this month. Now, Atlanta United have only two goalkeeping options moving forward: Bobby Shuttleworth and first-year homegrown signing Justin Carces. 

Shuttleworth is no stranger to Major League Soccer, kicking off his career with the New England Revolution in 2009. He made 178 appearances for the Eastern Conference giants in eight seasons before moving to Minnesota United for three years and Chicago Fire for two. 

The goalkeeper signed for Atlanta United as a free agent in 2022, joining on a one-year contract with a club option for 2023. He’s featured once for the team, coming in after Guzan left mid-match against FC Cincinnati. 

Garces also joined the MLS side in 2022 after years with the Atlanta United Academy and a successful collegiate career with UCLA. He made two starts in Atlanta United 2’s inaugural season in the USL Championship in 2018.  

The Eastern Conference team will likely need another goalkeeping option to survive the 2022 campaign. The Primary Transfer Window remains open until May 4, before the Secondary Transfer Window runs from July 7 to August 4. 

Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS season has been riddled with injuries, seeing star Josef Martinez and Ozzie Alonso out with knee lesions. Machop Chol and Matheus Rossetto are sidelined as well. 

Despite the rocky start, the head coach Gonzalo Pineda has managed to lead the team to fourth on the Eastern Conference table with 11 points in seven games and a record of 3-2-2. The team returns to action on Wednesday in the US Open Cup match against Chattanooga.