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Atlanta United’s strategy in the MLS Expansion Priority Draft

Experience is key

MLS Atlanta Launch Event Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for MLS Atlanta

After much speculation, the Priority Draft is completed. The general consensus is that Atlanta United had the better draft among the two participating teams. However, it may have come as a surprise to many that AUFC prioritized the Expansion Draft ahead of the SuperDraft.

President Darren Eales spoke with Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier today to discuss Atlanta’s philosophy behind their choices.

Atlanta United President Darren Eales said he chose the expansion draft over the SuperDraft because he felt that signing players with MLS experience will be the hardest to get a hold of as the team builds its 28-man roster. The team has already signed two players, Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin, from its academy in a nod to potential.

With every passing day, it is obvious that Atlanta United wants to put a team on the field that will be competitive from the beginning. Adding a core of experienced MLS players to an already impressive group of young players will help them do just that.

Eales went on to say the Expansion Draft pick, as well as the top spot in the Player Allocation Ranking, are valuable because they can also be used in trades. This suggests that perhaps Atlanta United is willing to use their picks as bargaining tools.

It will be interesting to see what Atlanta United ultimately does, especially with the Expansion Draft coming up in December and the transfer window opening in January. Whatever happens, today was another stepping stone, and a successful one at that.