3. Erik Lopez. He was signed by the club last year but wasn’t on the roster for the finale at Columbus because of the vagaries of MLS rules. He was eligible to play against Club America in the Champions League a month later and performed very well. He seems versatile enough to play across the midfield and could push Ezequiel Barco if his inconsistencies continue.
4. Lisandro Lopez. He may not play a lot if Josef Martinez is healthy but the legendary Argentinian striker is going to be expected to deliver when he gets on the field.
5. Franco Ibarra. A signing confirmed on Monday, he’s a player who could be impactful as a deep-lying midfielder. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t bounce between Atlanta United 2 and Atlanta United, if health protocols allow.
6. Ronald Hernandez. He will compete with Brooks Lennon and Chol for playing time. He is on loan from Aberdeen but it’s assumed that if he produces that loan is a loan in name only. I’m really curious to watch him play because I think he could become a very good player for the club.
7. Machop Chol. How can you not be excited to watch Chol? He’s big, fast and about as nice a guy as there is. I think it likely he will spend most of his time with Atlanta United 2.
8. Jackson Conway. It’s the guy who scored against Club America in the Champions League. How cool was that for the young man? But with Martinez, Lopez and Torres ahead of him, it’s likely he will spend most of the season with Atlanta United 2.
9. Efrain Morales. Morales is ranked this low only because it seems highly unlike that the Homegrown signing will play for Atlanta United this season with other more experienced plays ahead of him. Still, he’s got a lot of potential, otherwise Manchester United wouldn’t have invited him to come train there last year.
10. Mikey Ambrose. No offense to Ambrose, but it’s known what he can do because he played for the club from three seasons. He’s not flashy but can come in and do a job. He’s a good guy in the locker room, too.