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Darren Eales discusses importance of upcoming expansion draft

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Date and rules to be announced soon

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

Following the current Major League Soccer season, there will be an expansion draft. Atlanta United confirmed this to Dirty South Soccer today. The specifics regarding the rules of the draft and the date will be announced at a later date.

“The expansion draft is one of a few mechanisms that we’ll be able to utilize as we continue to construct our roster ahead of the 2017 season,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. “The depth in this league continues to grow and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to add quality pieces to our inaugural roster through this draft.”

In 2014, Orlando City and New York City conducted a blind draw to determine the selection order of the expansion draft and other player acquisition methods on September 24. The protected lists from current teams were submitted on December 8, one day after the 2014 MLS Cup. The actual expansion draft took place two days later.

This year’s MLS Cup final is reportedly on Saturday, December 10.

Each team selected ten players, with existing MLS teams limited to losing no more than two players each. Read our previous article about the expansion mechanics for more details on how things went in 2014.

Currently, Orlando has one player from their expansion draft still on the roster while New York City has four. Tommy McNamara has proven to be the best pick of that expansion draft, with New York City selecting him with the 16th pick.

Eales mentioned a December date for the draft in yesterday’s interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting’s On Second Thought program.