Atlanta United fans fill Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Olympic champion and world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield hammers the gold spike to start the game against Orlando City during the first half in a MLS soccer match on Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

No Atlanta United players selected in MLS expansion draft

MLS champion Atlanta United were unscathed by Cincinnati in Tuesday’s league expansion draft.

Cincinnati had five picks, from which it selected two strikers, two midfielders and a defender.

» More: Atlanta trades Garza to Cincinnati

Atlanta United’s unprotected players were: Mikey Ambrose, Jon Gallagher, Jose Hernandez, Mitch Hildebrandt, Alec Kann, Kevin Kratz, Jeff Larentowicz, Chris McCann, Michael Parkhurst, Oliver Shannon, Brandon Vazquez, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Romario Williams and Sal Zizzo. 

Parkhurst and Zizzo are free agents after having options declined Sunday. The club is currently negotiating to bring back Parkhurst, who has served as team captain both seasons.

Atlanta United was relatively successful with its expansion draft in December 2016

The team selected Donny Toia from Montreal with its first pick, and then traded him to Orlando for the eighth pick in the first round of the SuperDraft. The team used the pick to select Julian Gressel, who was named the Rookie of the Year last year and made 33 starts this year. In two seasons, he has scored nine goals with 23 assists.

Kann and Ambrose have been contributing players. Kann, selected fifth after being left exposed in the expansion draft by Sporting KC, had 18 starts in 2017 and one in 2018. Ambrose, selected fourth after being left exposed by Orlando, made two starts in 2017 and eight this season before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. The team on Sunday picked up options on the contracts for each player.

Mark Bloom, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto for goalkeeper Clint Irwin who was selected third, made two starts in 2017 before the option on his contract wasn’t picked up after the 2017 season.

Zach Loyd, a centerback selected with the second pick, didn’t play in a league game. He retired.

Cincinnati selected striker Darren Mattocks, former of D.C. United, first. The 28-year old scored 10 goals last season. Their second pick was another striker, Kei Kamara, formerly of Vancouver. Cincinnati traded Kamara to Colorado for an International slot. The third pick was midfielder Roland Lamah, formerly of Dallas. Their fourth pick was 30-year-old midfielder Eric Alexander, formerly of Houston. The final pick was defender Hassan Ndam, formerly of Red Bulls.

Upcoming key dates

Dec. 12: Waiver Draft

Dec. 14: Re-entry draft, stage 1

Dec. 20: Re-entry draft, stage 2

Jan. 1: Transfer window opens

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