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Austin FC announces roster moves ahead of 2022 MLS season

The Verde exercised contract options for three players, but declined six contract options and two transfer options. Here's who is currently still with the club.

AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday marked the deadline for MLS clubs not in the 2021 playoffs to make decisions on players with 2022 contract options, and Austin FC announced its roster decisions at 10 a.m.

Austin FC announced Tuesday morning it would be picking up the 2022 contract options for 2021 captain Alex Ring, Freddy Kleeman and Will Pulisic. The club declined the 2022 contract options for the following six players: Kekuta Manneh, Aaron Schoenfeld, Brady Scott, Aedan Stanley, Jared Stroud and Ben Sweat. 

The club also declined the transfer options for Sebastian Berhalter and Emanuel Perez, who spent the 2021 season on loan with Austin FC, officials said. Berhalter and Perez have now returned to their parent clubs, according to Austin FC. 

Austin FC officials did say, however, that "for a number of players who have had either their contract or transfer options declined, conversations about returning to Austin FC in 2022 are still ongoing." So even though Manneh, Schoenfeld, Scott, Stanley, Stroud and Sweat are free agents at this point and not currently on the club's roster, any of them could resign a new deal and stay with the Verde.

Austin FC will not have Matt Besler after he announced his retirement earlier this month. Nineteen players remain under contract with Austin FC: Julio Cascante, Moussa Djitté, Cecilio Domínguez, Sebastián Driussi, Diego Fagundez, McKinze Gaines, Jon Gallagher, Danny Hoesen, Hector Jimenez, Žan Kolmanič, Nick Lima, Daniel Pereira, Tomás Pochettino, Rodney Redes, Jhohan Romaña, Ulises Segura, Brad Stuver, Andrew Tarbell and Owen Wolff.

The next step Austin FC will need to make is choosing 12 players to "protect" from being in the pool of players for the Expansion Draft. Much like Austin FC did prior to the 2021 season, Charlotte FC – joining the league in 2022 – will have the opportunity to select five players in this year's expansion draft. Austin FC will be able to protect a maximum of 14 players on its roster due to expansion draft rules: 12 players chosen by the club, Daniel Periera is automatically protected as a "Generation Adidas" player and Owen Wolff is automatically protected as a Homegrown Players (ages 25 and under). For a further look at the MLS Expansion Draft rules, click here.

The list of players eligible for selection in the Expansion Draft will be released on Dec. 13 and the draft will take place on Dec. 14. The 2022 MLS SuperDraft is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022. 

Austin FC's 2022 season begins on Feb. 26 with a home match against FC Cincinnati. 

Current Austin FC roster 

Goalkeepers

  • Will Pulisic
  • Brad Stuver
  • Andrew Tarbel

Defenders

  • Julio Cascante
  • Freddy Kleemann
  • Hector Jimenez
  • Žan Kolmanič
  • Nick Lima
  • Jhohan Romaña

Midfielders

  • Cecilio Domínguez
  • Diego Fagundez
  • Daniel Pereira
  • Tomás Pochettino
  • Alex Ring
  • Ulises Segura
  • Owen Wolff

Forwards

  • Moussa Djitté
  • Sebastián Driussi
  • McKinze Gaines
  • Jon Gallagher
  • Danny Hoesen
  • Rodney Redes

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