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Report: Atlanta United will have five picks in Expansion Draft

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First time in league history with this format

MLS: LA Galaxy at Philadelphia Union Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reports that Atlanta United and Minnesota United will take part in a five round Expansion Draft on December 13, three days after MLS Cup.

This is a departure from every previous MLS Expansion Draft and the smallest number of selections available to new teams. Since San Jose rejoined the league in 2007, new teams have picked ten players from existing clubs to build their initial roster.

Earlier reports had the league considering scrapping the Expansion Draft format this time around in favor of expanded international slots and allocation money.

According to Wahl, some MLS general managers are less than thrilled with being notified of the Expansion Draft rules only three months prior to it happening. Each current MLS club will only be allowed to lose one player in the new format.

This change will cause Atlanta and Minnesota to prepare differently than previous expansion teams. In the past, many teams would use some picks for trades. With only five selections, that will likely be utilized less frequently this year. Looking back at the last expansion draft, NYCFC had seven players from the Expansion Draft feature for the team and Orlando had four.