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MLS executive expects Expansion Draft to be held for LAFC in 2018

All signs point to the Expansion Draft returning next year.

MLS: MLS Cup Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday was the Expansion Draft for the 2017 MLS expansion sides, Atlanta United and Minnesota United, and each team made five selections on the day. This comes after it had been rumored earlier this year the Expansion Draft would not be held at all, as the league reportedly mulled over scrapping the whole thing and just giving the new teams extra allocation money.

But hold it they did, with the biggest provision that the draft was cut down from 20 total selections between two teams to 10 selections altogether. In addition, existing teams could not lose more than one player, so there was a strategic element of picking players based on that.

You can find the full results of the day’s Expansion Draft here, but readers are probably wondering if a similar set-up will exist in a year’s time, when Los Angeles Football Club are preparing to build their first roster in earnest.

The current answer is yes, at least based on a report from MLSsoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal last week. Stejskal spoke to MLS executive vice president and player relations Todd Durbin, who explained the process behind this year’s Expansion Draft changes, but it was also reported that, “he expects the league to hold a similar Expansion Draft next year ahead of LAFC’s 2018 entry into the league.”

So that’s not a 100 percent confirmation, but it’s a very good indication that the league is leaning towards holding another Expansion Draft next year for LAFC. Assuming that happens, expect it to be structured similarly to Tuesday’s draft, with LAFC able to pick five players to either build their roster or flip for other players or MLS assets.

And in that way, Tuesday’s Expansion Draft for Atlanta and Minnesota will probably be something worth studying for lessons, this week and in a year’s time, for the 2018 expansion team.

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