Atlanta United MLS SuperDraft primer

The MLS SuperDraft will be Friday in Chicago.

Here’s a quick Atlanta United-focused primer:

Q: Is the draft on TV?

A: Yes. It starts at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on the league’s app, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels.

Q: What are Atlanta United’s picks?

A: Atlanta United will have the last pick in the first round, No. 24. Winning the MLS Cup will do that.

Q: Any more picks?

A: Yes. It will have the last pick in the second round, No. 48. The team won’t have a pick in the third round after trading its slot to D.C. United in exchange for Bobby Boswell in the 2017 season. It will have a pick in the fourth round, No. 79. It had traded its fourth-round pick to Orlando for Harrison Heath before the 2017 season. It acquired a fourth-round selection from Minnesota in exchange for Heath following the 2017 season. So, swapping Heath allowed the team to move

Q: What’s the likelihood of finding another Julian Gressel or Miles Robinson?

A: Robinson was the team’s first pick in its first draft when Atlanta United took the former Syracuse standout with the second pick in 2017. It followed that with Gressel at No. 8. He became the Rookie of the Year and a key player in the team’s MLS Cup-winning season.

In its history, the draft results in far more duds than standouts.

Q: Who might Atlanta United select?

A: Because they pick so deep in the draft, it seems probable that Atlanta United will go with the best player available. Last year, it selected strikers Jon Gallagher and Gordon Wild, midfielder Oliver Shannon, and goalkeeper Paul Christensen. Only Christensen made an appearance for the senior team last season. The option on Shannon’s contract was declined following the season.

It’s likely that whomever Atlanta United selects, that player will spend the majority of the season with Atlanta United 2.

Q: Will new manager Frank de Boer play a role in the draft?

A: The man hired to replace Gerardo Martino arrived in Atlanta last week and was soon headed to Orlando for the MLS Combine to watch the available talent. So, yes, de Boer will have a role.

Q: Did Atlanta United’s run to the MLS Cup affect the time it had to scout players?

A: That’s an interesting question that I hope to get answered tomorrow.

Q: How important were Martino and Paul McDonough in player selection in the previous two drafts?

A: Another good question. McDonough, who left Atlanta United to run Inter Miami FC, is known as having a keen eye for college talent. Martino also is pretty good at noticing who has skills.

Q: Which team has the first pick?

A: Ah, yes. There are teams other than Atlanta United. Cincinnati will have the first pick.

Q: Will there be trades?

A: You bet. Last year’s draft in Philadelphia was shaped by more than 35 trades, some made that day and some made in previous years.

Q: Do you hate writing it as SuperDraft?

A: Yes. I really, really do.

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