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Atlanta United completes trades for four players

Atlanta United completed acquisitions for four players and an international roster spot on Sunday during Major League Soccer’s trade window.

The expansion side traded a fourth-round pick in 2020 draft to Philadelphia for midfielder Kevin Kratz, a fourth-round pick in 2019 draft to Orlando for midfielder Harrison Heath, an undisclosed amount of General Allocation Money to Columbus for defender Michael Parkhurst and a conditional third-round pick in 2018 draft to Montreal for forward Romario Williams.

Atlanta United also traded an undisclosed amount of General Allocation Money to Chicago for goalkeeper Sean Johnson, an Atlanta native. He was quickly traded to New York City FC in exchange for undisclosed amounts of General Allocation Money and Targeted Allocation Money. GAM and TAM are MLS-created mechanisms for acquiring higher-profile players that don’t totally count against the salary cap. Johnson wasn’t needed because Atlanta is reportedly trying to complete a transfer for U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan, currently playing for Middlesbrough in the English Premier League. The transfer window opens in January.

With the exception of Parkhurst, the players that Atlanta United completed trades for and kept could be described as having lots of potential, but not a lot of results in MLS.

Heath and Williams have barely played in the league and Kratz has yet to play. Should Williams play in 2017, the third-round pick Atlanta used to acquire him will become a second-round pick.

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Parkhurst received $300,000 in guaranteed compensation during the 2016 season, but was reportedly in the final year of his contract. Heath recieved $63,000, Williams $97,000 and Kratz $76,758, according to the MLS Players Union salary database.

Atlanta United now has 14 players on its roster with several other means of adding more this week. The team will have five picks in Tuesday’s expansion draft, with free agency starting at 5 p.m. that day. The waiver draft will be held Thursday for players whose contracts weren’t renewed. The re-entry draft will be held Friday. Atlanta United President Darren Eales said on Tuesday that the team likely won’t be very active in Thursday’s and Friday’s windows.

Atlanta United’s roster includes four forwards with Kenwyne Jones, Brandon Vazquez, Jeffrey Otoo and Williams, eight midfielders with Kratz, Heath, Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba, Junior Burgos, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin and Chris McCann, defender Parkhurst and goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.

After the trades, Atlanta United used seven of its eight available slots for international players. To free up room for more players from other countries, the team traded its pick in the second round of the 2017 draft to Colorado for one more international slot.

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