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Atlanta United: Romario Williams to miss rest of the season with ankle injury

Jun 6, 2018; Kennesaw, GA, USA; Atlanta United forward Romario Williams (9) shoots against Charleston Battery midfielder Neveal Hackshaw (8) during the second half at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

A scene from Gordon Wild’s Instagram story on Saturday night foreshadowed news that came Monday.

Wild, a 2018 MLS SuperDraft pick by Atlanta United FC, was out with some teammates at a TopGolf that night. He took a photo of Romario Williams swinging away at a ball, but Williams was wearing a boot around his left foot. Was he injured?

The club confirmed Monday that Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a “ligament injury” to his left ankle. Williams suffered the injury during training prior to Atlanta’s 3-1 second leg Eastern Conference semifinals victory over NYCFC.

Williams, 24, is a Jamaican forward who has been with Atlanta United since the club acquired him via trade with the Montreal Impact on Dec. 11, 2016. Williams spent his first season with the Five Stripes on loan to the Charleston Battery, a United Soccer League side. He played well there, making the All-USL second team after tallying 15 goals and three assists across 22 appearances.

Atlanta United decided to keep Williams with the first team this season. He often entered matches late as relief for star striker Josef Martinez, or to give Atlanta another striker in comeback situations. He scored the first goal of his MLS career in a 5-0 home victory over LAFC. Williams connected on a shot attempt from outside the 18-yard line in stoppage time that prompted him to take his shirt off and twirl it around his head.

In all, Williams made 17 appearances with Atlanta United in MLS contests in 2018, playing 211 minutes. He also started in both of the club’s U.S. Open Cup contests, scoring once against his former club, the Battery.

Williams also started in seven matches with Atlanta United’s USL affiliate, ATL UTD 2, this season. He scored four goals and had an assist in 599 minutes played with the club. A brace on Oct. 7 against the Battery earned him USL Player of the Week honors.

After playing his college soccer at the University of Central Florida, where he scored 18 goals in 51 appearances and was the 2013 American Athletic Conference player of the year, Williams was taken third overall by Montreal in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. According to Transfermarkt, Williams contract with Atlanta expires on Dec. 31 of this year.

Since 2016, Williams has six caps with the senior Jamaican national team and has scored twice.

Atlanta United will host the New York Red Bulls Sunday, Nov. 25 for the first leg of the Eastern Conference Finals in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

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