If you missed Aaron Bauer's exclusive interview with Darren Eales on Atlanta United's new affiliation with the Charleston Battery (Uhh, what's wrong with you! GO READ IT NOW!) then you may have missed something very telling; something even I hadn't considered until reading it a second time:
Eales said the biggest asset an affiliation gives to the franchise will be the opportunity to sign players this year and have them play competitive matches ahead of the 2017 MLS season.
While everyone is caught up in the speculation of who the first Designated Player may be, something that may be overlooked by most could make you sound like a genius among all your soccer buddies.
Are you ready?
Here it is: It is extremely likely that the first official signing in Atlanta United FC history will be someone you either don't know or aren't overly impressed with. Possibly both.
Atlanta United isn't going to sign a DP early and send him off to Charleston to play against clearly inferior opposition. Moves like this are meant for the first, second and third players off the bench. It's highly probable the first players signed will be depth guys, an aspect of the game the best MLS teams rely heavily on in key moments.
As fans, we make focusing on the big names that will make a big impact an obsession. For Eales and company, they rightfully should be focused on the role players. Finding individuals that could potentially play around the three DPs is just as important as the DPs themselves. If you don't believe me, ask NYCFC.
The good thing is that Darren Eales and the rest of the front office continue to make the right moves. They flew to Orlando to check out the MLS combine. They went to the MLS Super Draft in Baltimore to get a feel for what the 2017 Super Draft will be like. It seems next they'll be attempting to sign players soon so they can begin playing together in Charleston. The latter alone may prove to make a huge difference over the course of their inaugural season, especially if the expansion draft is ultimately eliminated.
You can thank me for helping you sound so soccer savvy in the comments below.