Atlanta United will be given some extra allocation money to make up for the loss of five Expansion Draft picks, according to Paul McDonough, the club’s Director of Soccer Operations.
He did a great interview with the AJC’s Doug Roberson that you should check out here. The biggest takeaway from the piece is that Atlanta will be given the extra funds to find the players they want.
McDonough said five is OK because the two new teams will be given extra allocation money (the amount hasn’t been determined), which will allow them to try to sign they players have they clearly identified that they want, rather than possibly those that their current clubs have made available because they are no longer wanted.
This Sunday a step toward Atlanta United’s big offseason roster construction will take place. The Expansion Priority Draft is the draft before the big drafts to determine which incoming expansion franchises will have priority in six different player acquisition methods (streaming info here).
Usually for brand new teams, especially ones created from scratch, the Expansion Draft is the biggest asset to help teams acquire players. In the past, teams were allowed 10 draft picks each. However, for this particular draft, MLS cut the selections in half to five picks per team.
That decision could’ve really hurt a club like Atlanta United who have to build a roster from nothing as opposed to bringing over NASL players like Minnesota United will be able to do. Thankfully, it appears they will have other means to acquire the players they desire instead of being forced to use other team’s leftovers.
Allocation money is a vital mechanism in MLS that allows teams to buy down a player’s salary to get them within the league’s set salary cap. Having more of it will allow for better and more expensive players to be signed.