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Expansion Draft Wish List: D.C. United

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Who could be available to Atlanta United?

Spain Training Session and Press Conference Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Previous Installments:

Introduction

Chicago Fire

Colorado Rapids

Columbus Crew


Our Wish List series rolls on with the original United. D.C. United were one of the 10 teams to launch MLS in 1996 and have been a great success throughout their history. However, they’ve fallen on rough times lately fluctuating between contenders and bottom-dwellers over the past few season.

This season has been no different as they currently sit just below the red playoff line in 7th place in the East. With a modest roster of young players, veterans, and internationals, there could be a few interesting options available for Atlanta United. Here’s who we see getting protect and who could be left available for selection:

Projected Protected List

  1. Luciano Acosta
  2. Steve Birnbaum
  3. Sean Franklin
  4. Bill Hamid
  5. Kennedy Igboananike
  6. Alhadi Kamara
  7. Taylor Kemp
  8. Patrick Mullins
  9. Lamar Neagle
  10. Patrick Nyarko
  11. Lloyd Sam

Available Players

  1. Miguel Aguilar
  2. Nick DeLeon
  3. Andrew Dykstra
  4. Charlie Horton
  5. Jared Jeffrey
  6. Chris Korb
  7. Luke Mishu
  8. Kofi Opare
  9. Chris Rolfe
  10. Alvaro Saborio
  11. Marcelo Sarvas
  12. Rob Vincent
  13. Travis Worra

Potential Targets for Atlanta United: Jared Jeffrey, Nick DeLeon, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Opare

Jason: Jared Jeffrey would be my choice from DC’s roster. He’s a talented central midfielder who combines technical ability with scrappy play. He left the U.S. after high school and spent time with Club Brugge and Mainz. Jeffrey also spent time with U.S. youth national teams, last with the U23’s in Olympic qualifying in 2012. He has played the most in his MLS career this season, starting 12 of 18 games played.

Another option would be Nick DeLeon, a winger who has stagnated after a promising start to his MLS career. He has played a good bit as a central midfielder in recent years without settling into a role that suits him. In a new environment with different expectations, DeLeon could be a contributor.

Bobby Boswell would be another possibility due to his veteran experience at center back. He is 33-years-old now and has started 346 games in his MLS career. He would be one of the most experienced options available in the Expansion Draft.

Rob: If these lists come to fruition, it’ll be slim pickings for Atlanta United. Jared Jeffrey is decent midfield option who could serve as a depth player. I highly doubt he’s someone you’d want in your starting lineup. He’s not a player that will hurt your team at all, but spending one of your five picks on him? No, thanks.

Boswell and Opare fall at two different ends of the spectrum. Opare is a young and unproven defender with a high upside. Is he worth a gamble at this stage? Probably not with other options hopefully available. Then you have Boswell, an MLS veteran on the downside of his career. He could possibly have one or two more solid years remaining, but his mobility is a huge question mark. If the team is committed to playing a high octane offensive style, I’m not sure he could keep up when faced with counter-attacks.

I’ve never been that big on Nick DeLeon when he was at his best. Now that he’s fallen off in the middle of his prime, that’s a strong pass from me. He’s just not effective anymore.