Atlanta United new signings, new money, and new international roster spot

Atlanta United has acquired an international spot for the 2017 and 2018 seasons from Colorado Rapids, the club announced today. Atlanta acquired the spot in exchange for its natural second round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

Each club in MLS has the rights to eight international spots on its roster. These spots are tradable, in full season increments, such that some clubs may have more than eight and some clubs may have fewer than eight.

The deal wraps up the half-day trade window for Atlanta United. The club also acquired Michael Parkhurst from Columbus, Romario Williams from Montreal, Kevin Kratz from Philadelphia, Harrison Heath from Orlando City SC and General & Targeted Allocation Money from New York City FC.

The MLS offseason will continue with the MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday, Dec. 13 with Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC each selecting five players when the draft begins at 2 p.m. Later in the day, MLS Free Agency will begin at 5 p.m. The MLS Waiver Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. and the MLS Re-Entry Process will begin with Stage One on Friday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. and Stage Two to begin on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m.

Atlanta United acquired a two-year international spot from Colorado Rapids on Dec. 11, 2016, in exchange for its natural second round selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

PLAYERS

Michael Parkhurst

The four-time MLS All-Star and former MLS Defender of the Year, known for his passing abilities, has served as Columbus’ captain for the past three seasons and has been capped by the U.S. Men’s National Team 25 times. His National Team debut came in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Trinidad & Tobago on June 9, 2007. He was a member of the 2007 and 2013 Gold Cup Champion teams as well as the squad that finished runner-up in the 2009 tournament. Parkhurst also represented the U.S. in the Olympics during the group stage for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The veteran defender has also had success abroad in the Danish Superliga and German Bundesliga. Parkhurst joined Danish side Nordsjælland after the 2008 MLS season and helped lead the club to two Danish Cup victories in the 2009-2010 and 2010-11 seasons. He also competed in the 2012 UEFA Champions League with Nordsjælland. Parkhurst moved to Augsburg of the Bundesliga in 2012. He made two appearances with the club in the 2012-13 season before returning to the MLS to play with Columbus.

Position: Defender

Age: 32

Birthdate: Jan. 24, 1984

Height: 5-11

Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island

Nationality: USA

Previous club: Columbus Crew SC

Romario Williams

Atlanta acquired Williams from Montreal in exchange for a conditional Third Round selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. The Impact will receive Atlanta’s natural Second Round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft if Williams appears in a game for Atlanta during the 2017 season. Williams, 22, was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and spent the 2016 season on loan with Charleston Battery, where he scored a team-high 10 goals. A standout at the University of Central Florida, Williams scored 18 goals over his three seasons with the Knights, including 10 during his sophomore season, en route to being named the American Athletic Conference’s 2013 Offensive Player of the Year. He had seven goals during his junior season and was again selected to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team. Williams then signed a Generation Adidas contract on Jan. 8, 2015, forgoing his senior year at UCF.

Position: Forward

Age: 22

Birthdate: Aug. 15, 1994

Birthplace: Portmore, Jamaica

Nationality: Jamaica

Previous Club: Montreal Impact

Harrison Heath

Atlanta acquired Heath in exchange for the club’s natural Fourth Round selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Heath, 20, has spent the last three seasons in Orlando’s system, first joining the club on July 17, 2014 when the Lions were in USL. In 2016, he made three appearances for the MLS club and 12 appearances for their USL affiliate, Orlando City B. Heath made his first start of the season against NYCFC on May 29 and played the full 90 minutes. He made two more starts with the senior team in consecutive games against Houston on July 9 and New York Red Bulls on July 14. At the USL level, he scored against Louisville City on June 6. Harrison is the son of current Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath.

Position: Midfielder

Age: 20

Birthdate: March 6, 1996

Birthplace: Newcastle-under-Lyme, England

Nationality: England and USA

Previous Club: Orlando City SC

Kevin Kratz

Atlanta acquired Kratz from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for Atlanta’s natural Fourth Round selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Kratz, 29, is a native of Eschweiler, Germany and has spent the majority of his career in Germany’s Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. He began his youth career with Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the age of 10. In three seasons with Bayer Leverkusen II, Kratz totaled 90 appearances and scored 11 goals from 2006 to 2009.

In his career, Kratz helped Eintracht Braunschweig earn promotion to the Bundesliga after finishing in second place in the German second division during the 2012-13 season. In Eintracht’s first season in Bundesliga in 28 years, Kratz scored against German football powerhouse Borussia Dortmund on Aug. 18, 2013 in the second game of the season. Overall in his career, Kratz has appeared in 277 career matches, 122 of them coming from the Bundesliga first and second divisions. Philadelphia signed Kratz, who was a free agent, on Sept. 15, 2016 ahead of the MLS Roster Freeze Date.

Position: Midfielder

Age: 29

Birthdate: Jan. 21, 1987

Birthplace: Eschweiler, Germany

Nationality: German

Previous Club: Philadelphia Union

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