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The Daily Dirt, January 9: Defensive Designated Player?

Thoughts on yesterday’s article about Atlanta’s plans...

When Tata Martino was hired, he was asked about how Atlanta United would use their Designated Player signings on the field. He said that he expected them to be used from the midfield to the attack. According to Sam Stejskal’s article yesterday, that approach could have changed.

Darren Eales told Stejskal:

“We’ve still got a DP spot available so that’s something that we’re going to look to fill.

We’ve got some irons in the fire in terms of defensive positions. I think in the next couple of weeks you’re going to see some activity.”

With the use of TAM, these designations can get blurry, so let’s get that out there up front. A player on a $1,000,000 contract that would be a Designated Player could be bought down using allocation money to a non-DP deal. Reports have the expected signing of Brad Guzan in this category.

Personally, I was actually a little disappointed that Martino said defensive players were not being considered for DP deals back in the fall. It’s all about putting together the strongest team with the resources you have. Now that the majority of the team is in place, perhaps Atlanta United has decided to reallocate resources to fill needs rather than to stick to a rigid philosophy. Martin Demichelis has been linked to Atlanta in the Spanish media as he is leaving Espanyol.

This does bring up some questions about the roles and expectations of the defensive players already on the roster. Greg Garza would be expected to hold down the starting left back spot and Michael Parkhurst would likely be a starting center back. Is Zach Loyd being pushed to the bench, or to right back? Will Mark Bloom and Mikey Ambrose be back-ups?

Also, it would be expected that TAM or GAM would be used to add starters in the attack. Left wing, unless Jacob Peterson is the answer, and an attacking central midfielder appear to be highest on the shopping list. With rumors linking Atlanta to Darwin Quintero and Juan Cazares, maybe all options are on the table for this third Designated Player slot.

Stejskal also said that teams were inquiring about Atlanta’s #2 pick in Friday’s SuperDraft. In the past, picks that high have extracted quite a bit of value in trade. If the team is to move the pick, they could be bringing back a starting level player or bushels of allocation money to use to get one.


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