Now that Minnesota United is officially joining MLS next year, they have to start to building a roster for the next level. Sporting Director Manny Lagos is embarking on a scouring trip to Norway and Sweden to look at talent.
Lagos said Scandinavia was specifically targeted due to the weather and because of the chance to scout players who would soon be free agents at the close of the Norwegian and Swedish league seasons. Two players Lagos mentioned by name are Americans Josh Gatt and Cole Grossman, who FiftyFive.One reports are out of contract at the end of 2016.
Gatt is a 25-year-old right winger who has only recently returned from knee injuries. He plays for Molde in Norway and made two appearances for the U.S. national team prior to being sidelined. Grossman is 27 and a product of Duke University. After 33 games in 4 seasons with Columbus and Real Salt Lake, the defensive midfielder joined Bob Bradley’s Stabæk in Norway. He has played 45 times in the Tippeligaen since joining them in 2015.
Neither player is part of MLS’ Allocation Process. If they are in the last six months of their contract, clubs could sign them to a pre-contract agreement now with no transfer fee involved. The player would then join their new club when their current contract expires.
Lagos said to FiftyFive.One’s Wes Burdine, “We don’t want to pretend and start this off like we’re going to be New York or LA.” Instead, he wants to emphasize the “quality of life” players can have in Minnesota.
Are Gatt and/or Grossman players that Atlanta United should consider? What will Atlanta United’s selling points be to potential players? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.