Opinions varied regarding which player acquisition method Atlanta United should choose in last Sunday’s MLS Expansion Priority Draft. There were three methods clearly with more value than the rest, but there was not a consensus as to which made the most sense for Atlanta to choose first.
Winning the coin toss allowed Atlanta to get the advantage in two of the three methods, and they chose the Expansion Draft with their first selection. When asked why they prioritized the Expansion Draft, Atlanta United president Darren Eales told Dirty South Soccer:
“Being a brand new expansion club, we felt that getting experienced MLS players was important to us and the expansion draft gives us the best opportunity to do that.”
Beyond experience, Atlanta United will be able to utilize their analytics knowledge of the league to help make decisions in the Expansion Draft. Eales said:
“Analytics is an important aspect of all our player acquisition decisions and with MLS, we have the availability of a good amount of detailed data on all of the players within the league.”
The Expansion Draft will take place on Tuesday, December 13 at 2:00 p.m. Based off past expansion drafts, the list of available players for selection should be made public sometime on Monday, December 12.