Atlanta United

Jurgen Damm intends to honor Atlanta United contract despite Pineda comments

Chris Smith
Damm intends to see out the two remaining guaranteed years of his contract.
Damm intends to see out the two remaining guaranteed years of his contract. / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Jurgen Damm has hit back at claims he'll be leaving Atlanta United, insisting he intends to see out his current contract with the club.

The 12-time Mexico international has been with the Five Stripes since July 2020, registering one goal and four assists in 27 appearances for the club so far.

Damm struggled to break into the Atlanta United starting XI in 2021, with 10 of his 11 MLS appearances coming from the bench. In December, rumors began circulating suggesting the 29-year-old could leave the club and that Liga MX side Chivas was a possible destination.

Atlanta United are currently at a pre-season training camp in Guadalajara, but Damm is not present and remains back home training on his own. Last week, the heat was turned up with head coach Gonzalo Pineda publicly stating that Damm doesn't have a place in his team at the present moment.

“At this moment he’s not in the team’s plans," he said. "At this time he’s training on his own, and we of course are grateful to Jurgen for what he has contributed to the team. At this time we are looking to go in a different direction. My hope is that la directiva and his agent find the best thing for him.” 

On Sunday, Damm responded on social media insisting the restructuring of his contract is 'not negotiable' and he will 'continue to work' even if Pineda doesn't see a place for him in the team.

"I sincerely appreciate all the support and affection provided in these years, but a restructuring of my salary is not negotiable," Damm wrote on Twitter. "My contract is guaranteed and valid. If this decision of mine leads to not entering into plans, I respect the decision and will continue working with the same dedication."

Damm has two more years guaranteed in his contract and intends to honor them.

Regardless of what the two parties say, the simple fact is Damm earns an eye-watering salary for a player who rarely features.

According to MLSPA figures, the Mexican took home over $1.5m in guaranteed compensation last season. This made him the fourth-highest paid player at Atlanta United behind Luiz Araujo, Josef Martinez, and Ezequiel Barco - who are all Designated Players (DP) - and one of the highest-paid non-DPs throughout the whole of MLS.

In other words, Atlanta United paid just over $9,740 for every minute Damm spent on the pitch during the 2021 MLS regular season.