Gabriel Heinze quickly found how much the squad needed to be changed, and he starti..."/> Gabriel Heinze quickly found how much the squad needed to be changed, and he starti..."/> Gabriel Heinze quickly found how much the squad needed to be changed, and he starti..."/>

Atlanta United’s most exciting signings ahead of 2021

Paraguay's U-23 football player Erik Lopez (C) takes part in a training session in Ypane, Paraguay, on January 15, 2020, ahead of the Pre-Olympic Tournament qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. - The U-23 South American Pre-Olympic Tournament will take place in the Colombian cities of Armenia, Bucaramanga and Pereira between January 18 and February 9, 2020. (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE / AFP) (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Paraguay's U-23 football player Erik Lopez (C) takes part in a training session in Ypane, Paraguay, on January 15, 2020, ahead of the Pre-Olympic Tournament qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. - The U-23 South American Pre-Olympic Tournament will take place in the Colombian cities of Armenia, Bucaramanga and Pereira between January 18 and February 9, 2020. (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE / AFP) (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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2. Josh Bauer (CB)

There is still a lot unsure about the young defender from the University of New Hampshire. Bauer may still be best suited for a loan during the 2021 season, but having come off a short spell with Birmingham Legion in the USL Championship just before the MLS Superdraft, there is an expectation that Bocanegra probably knows what he is getting from Bauer. Simply put, the defense was ineffective in 2021, and the mixed signals from two different managers did not help. Escobar, Fernando Meza and Edgar Castillo are all out now. And with several young players vying for the centerback partnership with Miles Robinson, Bauer could and should position himself as the leading candidate. And a centerback partnership made of two draft picks is good business by Atlanta.