Atlanta United will play at Nashville to open preseason

Atlanta United will play Nashville SC in a friendly on Feb. 10 at First Tennessee Park.

It will be the USL team’s first game and the preseason opener for the Five Stripes.

Atlanta United has previously announced preseason games against Columbus on Feb. 17, Minnesota United on Feb. 21 and against Charleston on Feb. 24. Those three games will be played at Charleston’s MUSC Health Stadium.

Atlanta United recently completed its inaugural season in MLS. It became the first expansion team since Seattle in 2009 to advance to the playoffs.

First Tennessee Park is a baseball stadium located in downtown Nashville. It is home to the Nashville Sounds, which play in the Pacific Coast League.

Nashville is among the cities being considered for an MLS expansion franchise. It is considered one of the favorites, along with Sacramento. The league is expected to announce a decision on two of the four cities that will be granted franchises in December.

Here are other key offseason dates:

Dec. 1: Clubs that weren’t in the playoffs must let the league know which players whose contract options are being exercised and/or players who are receiving offers.

Dec. 10: Half-day trade window opens from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (EST).

Dec. 12: The expansion draft will be held at 2 p.m. The rules are the same as last year’s expansion draft: each team can protect 11 players. Off-budget Homegrowns and those who signed Generation Adidas contracts are exempt. Teams can lost just one player in the expansion draft. LAFC will have selections. The list of unprotected players will be released by the league on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

Dec. 12: Free-agency beings at 3 p.m. The list of free agents will be released by the league on Dec. 10. 

Free agents are players who are out of contract or whose options were declined, are at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service.

Dec. 13: Waiver draft. The pool consists of players who have been waived by clubs and do not meet minimum years of service requirement for re-entry Draft or free agency. The draft is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish. The list of players will be released by the league on Dec. 12.

Dec. 15: Re-entry draft, Stage 1. The pool consists of players whose options were declined, aren’t eligible for free agency and who will be at least 23 years old in 2017 with a minimum of three years of MLS experience.
The pool will also consist of players not eligible for free agency, who have not received an offer, and who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience or are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience.

Dec. 21: Re-entry draft, Stage 2. The pool includes “players who were not selected in the Stage 1 draft, but not necessarily all Stage 1 players as they can re-sign with their previous club between stages; teams selecting in this stage have the right to negotiate with the player for a new contract; the format of the draft is conducted in the same manner as Stage 1.”

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