One of the rest stops along the journey to MLS comes today for Atlanta United as they take part in the Expansion Priority Draft. The event will take place today during the MLS Matchday Live show on YouTube starting at 2:00 p.m.
MLS Executive VP of Competition & Player Relations Todd Durbin will flip the coin. Whichever team’s logo comes up will get first choice out of the six player acquisition methods available to Atlanta and Minnesota during the upcoming offseason.
For a primer on the methods and what they mean, check out our recap from earlier this week.
Paul McDonough, Atlanta’s Director of Soccer Operations, shed some light on the process with these quotes from earlier this week on ATLUTD.com:
“There are a couple of players rumored to come back in the allocation, there’s a pool of kids that could be the top two draft picks, and we’re also trying to look at who could be left unprotected in the expansion draft. A lot of it is guessing right now, but we are estimating the best we can.”
“If you do your homework, you can get something good out of each mechanism.”
“Of the expansion player acquisitions in the past, the verdict was that only about five deep made significant contributions. So the discussion came up, would we rather have status quo which is 10 picks OR go five picks and have some extra allocation money OR do away with it all together. Getting rid of it all together just didn’t have any traction and a good compromise for the existing teams, expansion teams and future expansion teams was that five seemed the most reasonable. It disrupts less teams in the league and expansion clubs get more allocation money to offset those five players they don’t get to pick.”
McDonough is right, good teams who do their homework will get something out of each player acquisition method available. None of the methods are only one player deep in quality, so picking behind Minnesota is not a game changer in any of these opportunities.
What we might learn today is who could be valued more highly by Atlanta United based off their choices. Is there a player on the allocation order list that Eales and company feel that they can sign? Do they like one of the top college players more than the rest? Do they feel like there will be a gem in the Expansion Draft?
Immediately after the Expansion Priority Draft is completed, join me on our Facebook page to chat about the selections and what they might mean.
Here’s the Minnesota perspective on today’s event (FiftyFive.One)
Minnesota’s preparation for the Expansion Priority Draft (MLS)
Red Bulls wary of Columbus (Once a Metro)
Not ideal preparation for today’s game for the LA Galaxy:
#LAGalaxy enduring repeated flight delays at LAX Won't get to Houston hotel until about 14-15 hrs before kickoff. That's best-case scenario— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) October 15, 2016
Scrappy effort from Bob Bradley’s Swansea, but they fall in his first game in charge (Stars and Stripes FC)
A game winner from the Macedonian first division:
ATL UTD Academy vs Concorde fire U18 4-2 win, U16 4-0 win, U14 2-0 win, U13 0-3 loss. A good day again for the ATL UTD academy in the Derby— ATLUTD Academy (@AcademyATLUTD) October 15, 2016
Lindsey Wilson College’s women’s team defeats Georgia Gwinnett 2-0.
Georgia Southern and Coastal Carolina play to a scoreless draw in men’s soccer.