Atlanta United selected fullback Erik Centeno from Pacific University with its first round pick in the 2022 MLS Superdraft.
Centeno was the final Generation Adidas player available to be selected in this year’s draft class. For background on what this means:
Generation adidas is a joint program between MLS and adidas that sees a handful of top collegiate underclassmen and youth national team players signed by MLS to Generation adidas contracts and made available in the SuperDraft. In order to provide Generation adidas players with the best professional environment, Generation adidas player salaries are not charged against an MLS team’s annual salary budget, providing an added incentive for that club to develop the player. Eventually, these GA players graduate to senior player contracts and their salaries are charged against a team’s budget.
In 2021, defender Erik Centeno was the only freshman to start in all 16 games for the University of the Pacific, recording six goals and five assists. Following the season, he garnered first-team All-West Coast Conference and the conference’s Freshman of the Year honors after leading the team in points and tying for the team lead in goals.
A native of Stockton, Calif., Centeno starred at Weston Ranch High School and played for the Sacramento Republic FC Academy.
UPDATE 6:40 PM ET
With it’s second selection in the draft, Atlanta United selected Tristan Trager out of the Air Force Academy. DSS identified Trager as a possible target:
Trager can play as both an attacking midfielder and as a False-9. He can help with build-up play if needed and can also occupy the attention of opposing centerbacks to open space for teammates to run in behind him. His senior year was easily his best season statistically with 13 goals (4 game-winners) and 7 assists across 18 starts but it remained consistent with his pre-COVID sophomore campaign when he scored 12 and added 4 assists in 16 starts. Overall, Trager would bring an experienced and athletic attacking presence to the club and could be an affordable depth option to start the season with the 2s alongside Darwin Matheus.