Atlanta United selected Josh Bauer with its first pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft and signed the defender to a first team contract on April 25, 2021.
Bauer, 22, made 60 career appearances, all starts, and scored 10 goals with 10 assists at the University of New Hampshire. Over his college career, Bauer was named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist in 2019 – an award annually given to the top collegiate soccer player – and was twice named both the America East Defender of the Year and the ECAC Defender of the Year. He also helped lead the Wildcats to back-to-back conference titles.
During his final season of play in 2019, Bauer also earned United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American honors. He scored the game-winning goal to lead New Hampshire to the America East Championship in 2019 and was named Most Outstanding Player of the conference tournament. As a sophomore in 2018, the defender started all 18 matches eventually claiming his first and America East Defender of the Year award. Bauer was also named the America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player when he scored in the final to help the Wildcats win its first conference championship. He earned All-Rookie Team honors in 2017 after making an immediate impact in his freshman season with 22 starts, becoming the only field player to play every minute of New Hampshire’s season.