Atlanta United’s Vazquez selected by Nashville, traded to Cincinnati

Atlanta United forward Brandon Vazquez (left). HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

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Atlanta United forward Brandon Vazquez (left). HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Atlanta United striker Brandon Vazquez was selected by Nashville in the MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday.

Nashville selected Vazquez with its fourth pick, but traded him to Cincinnati in exchange for as much as $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money in 2020 and $50,000 in General Allocation Money in 2021. For losing Vazquez, Atlanta United received $50,000 in General Allocation Money.

Vazquez, 21, scored three goals in 32 league appearances. He scored four in this year’s U.S. Open Cup.

Vazquez is big and quick, but wasn’t going to supplant Josef Martinez as the starting striker in Atlanta United’s formation. He should get a chance for consistent appearances at Cincinnati, which scored a league-worst 31 goals last season.

Vazquez will get to join former Atlanta United teammate Greg Garza, whose trade from the Five Stripes to Cincinnati was announced during last year’s expansion draft.

Inter Miami, whose front office is led by former Atlanta United director of soccer operations Paul McDonough, had the first pick in the expansion draft after winning a coin toss.

Inter Miami and Nashville made five picks each.

Inter Miami selected NYCFC left fullback Ben Sweat with its first pick, followed by Cincinnati right fullback Alvas Powell, LAFC midfielder Lee Nguyen, Columbus midfielder Luis Argudo and Seattle goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.

McDonough announced Inter Miami’s selections.

Nashville selected Minnesota striker Abu Danladi with its first pick, followed by Portland defender Zarek Valentin, New England defender Jalil Anibaba, Vazquez and Sporting KC’s Jimmy Medranda.

John Ingram, Nashville’s owner, was among  a group of different people who each had a turn announcing a selection.

Atlanta United had left unprotected: Mikey Ambrose, Jon Gallagher, Jose Hernandez, Alec Kann, Kevin Kratz, Jeff Larentowicz, Justin Meram, Brendan Moore, Luiz Fernando Nascimento, Michael Parkhurst, Dion Pereira, Flo Pogba, Brek Shea and Vazquez.

Each team could protect as many as 12 players. Those who are Homegrown Contracts or Generation Adidas contracts were automatically protected. Once a team lost a player,  none of its remaining players could be selected.

Five teams, FC Dallas, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps FC were exempt because they had a player selected by Cincinnati in last year’s expansion draft.

The next big date for Atlanta United is Thursday, which is the deadline to exercise options on contracts. Atlanta United Vice President Carlos Bocanegra and manager Frank de Boer are scheduled to talk with media on Thursday.