Atlanta United FC will add five players to their roster during the MLS expansion draft on Dec. 13 in preparation for their 2017 inaugural season.
Atlanta United FC has not had a major signing since June 22, when the club announced Argentine forward Hector “Tito” Villalba. Since then, United FC has put out little information about their upcoming inaugural 2017 season. Yesterday, Sept. 13, Major League Soccer announced that the Expansion Draft for Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m.
The draft will be composed of five rounds, giving each team the chance to select up to five players each. The selection order will be determined during the Expansion Priority Draft on Oct. 16.
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"“We’re eager to continue building our roster for next season and the expansion draft is another opportunity for us,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. “We will continue our scouting and preparation for all player acquisition mechanisms and ensure that we’ll be well prepared for this draft come December.”The 20 current MLS clubs will have the ability to protect 11 players from their rosters. These 11 protected players, in addition to Generation adidas players who do not graduate from the program at the end of the season and Homegrown Players on a club’s Supplemental or Reserve roster, will not be eligible for selection in the Expansion Draft. All remaining MLS players will be available for selection by the two expansion clubs.Each MLS club may lose a maximum of one player in the Expansion Draft. Once a player is selected from a club’s unprotected roster, that club is removed from the Expansion Draft process and may not lose any further players."
In January 2016, United FC signed its first player, 23-year-old goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis. Since then, the club has slowly made its way to a total of seven players, which is still ways away from the 28 players it needs. The expansion draft is a great way for Atlanta United FC to further develop their roster immediately. The 2017 roster currently consists of:
- Junior Burgos – midfielder
- Alexander Tambakis – goalkeeper
- Andrew Carleton – midfielder
- Jeffrey Otoo – striker
- Chris McCann – midfielder
- Kenwyne Jones – striker
- Hector Villalba – forward
Additionally, United FC still has not decided on a coach. Supposedly that decision can be expected to be made within the next few months.