When Major League soccer announced it's 24th franchise, Minnesota United FC, was entering the league they didn't write their ETA in permanent ink. It was believed that they would join the league in 2018, a year after Atlanta United. According to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, the league's desire is to have the remaining four expansion clubs enter MLS in pairs to keep the schedule and conferences balanced.
In MLS expansion news, I'm told the league is prioritizing having two teams come in at the same time in the next expansion rounds, the better to keep scheduling and conferences even. That would mean Atlanta and Minnesota in 2017 and LAFC and Miami in 2018. Minnesota would need to play in a temporary stadium in 2017, and I'm told one possibility is the Minnesota Twins baseball stadium (which is grass).
So, it's looking increasingly likely that Minnesota will be right alongside Atlanta come March 2017. So, what does this mean for AUFC? Quite simply it means more competition. If Atlanta was the lone entrant they'd be guaranteed the #1 pick in the MLS Superdraft. Now there's a chance they could end with with the 2nd pick? Don't think that's a big deal? It could mean the difference from getting the next Cyle Larin or the next Khiry Shelton. Trust me when I tell you this, you want the next Larin.
It also means more competition for acquiring players. If the expansion draft is eliminated like rumors suggest, it'll be a free-for-all market for trying to snag players from other teams within MLS and around the world.
While it's nothing to panic about, Minnesota joining Atlanta in 2017 would definitely throw a wrench into the already difficult task of being an expansion club in MLS.