On Jan. 19th, Major League Soccer held the 2018 Superdraft in Philadelphia.
Many eyebrow raising picks and trades were made, but MLS newcomer Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) made some big moves to further clarify that the club means business in their inaugural season.
LAFC started off by securing the first and third draft picks overall. With the first draft pick in the club’s history, LAFC selected Joao Moutinho, a defender from the University of Akron.
Moutinho started out at the Sporting Lisbon Academy in Portugal, then left Europe to play for the University of Akron.
As a freshman, Moutinho started all 24 games and went on to be named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the year and first team all-MAC honors.
Moutinho led the defence, giving Akron 12 shutouts during 2017 season.
He primarily played at center back, but has a knack for scoring goals as he scored 3 goals and assisted 5 more in the 2017 season.
After his inaugural season, he became the 12th player from the University of Akron to sign a Generation Adidas contract. (lafc.com)
After trading $100,000 in General Allocation money with D.C. United in exchange for the third draft pick, LAFC selected defender Tristan Blackmon from the University of the Pacific.
Blackmon, who plays as a versatile right back, helped his team make a NCAA tournament appearance in his senior season along with being named West Coast defender of the year.
Blackmon scored 18 goals in 4 seasons at the University of the Pacific and assisted 13 more.
He is the first player in the university’s history to be taken in the MLS Draft. (lafc.com) Despite the Joao Moutinho requiring an international roster spot, LAFC head coach Bob Bradley does not seem phased. Both players offer so much versatility to the team that they will definitely look to prove themselves in the 2018 MLS Season.
LAFC are looking to make an exciting and eclectic squad to take on other teams this upcoming season. Along with the other promising young talent the club drafted, they boast the likes Mexican international Carlos Vela, Uruguayan striker Diego Rossi, former Montreal Impact captain Laurent Ciman, U.S. international Benny Feilhaber and so on.
With the club’s stadium being built in the heart of Los Angeles, the club is already boasting quite the fan base with several supporters groups already formed, including the 3252, District 9 Ultras, Expo Originals, and many more.
The club really looks to make a huge impact to the MLS in 2018, and as a fan, I’m excited to see what the club is capable of achieving.
With a fresh and exciting roster and new stadium, LAFC is looking to reinvent Los Angeles as the leading footballing city in the United States.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted at email@example.com