Coming off his career year for Sporting Kansas City, winger Jacob Peterson signed a new deal with MLS expansion club, Atlanta United FC. Peterson has been in MLS for 11 seasons but had quite the breakout year in 2016. He had 21 appearances (18 starts) for 1,500 minutes and racked up a career high six goals while adding a single assist.
He scored every single one of those goals at Children’s Mercy Park, something he may not have a chance to do in 2017. With Atlanta playing in the Western Conference and Sporting in the East, the teams will likely only meet once (barring a change in scheduling) which may or may not be in Kansas City.
Atlanta will mark the fifth MLS club that Peterson has played for. He started with the Colorado Rapids back in 2006. After that he had short stints in Toronto and San Jose before spending five seasons with SKC.
Peterson is a fan favorite and will no doubt be missed but the club has indicated they want to make improvements on the wing. This is the first sign of that happening as Peterson has always really been a career backup, only being forced to play so much recently to cover for injuries.
The terms of the new deal with Atlanta were not disclosed but it is likely that Peterson will have gotten a raise over his $137,750 salary from 2016. For a player that will turn 31-years-old before the start of the season, that is potentially a lot of money for a guy most fans would hope to see on the bench while that mythical Designated Player winger who is supposed to be signed starts alongside Dom Dwyer and Graham Zusi.
While Jake will be missed, the possibility of who will replace him has to get fans excited. Peterson finished his Sporting KC career with 108 appearances, 65 starts, 5,922 minutes played, 13 goals, seven assists, and just four yellow cards and a single red card.