So many questions, still no clear-cut answers as to what Los Angeles Football Club’s front office will do when the 2018 MLS SuperDraft gets underway Friday in Philadelphia.
The daunting task of having the No. 1 overall pick in the draft is usually not that daunting at all.
In most years, the No. 1 draft pick is pretty clear. Cyle Larin was an obvious choice in 2015 and so it went that Orlando City SC picked the forward from Connecticut.
The problem facing Bob Bradley, John Thorrington and the rest of the LAFC staff is that there is no clear-cut No. 1 pick this year. Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep even suggested that the recent combine made the job even more difficult as coaches could not agree on a favorite.
Well, no one said the job was going to be easy.
In fact, according to Goal.com’s unofficial poll of league coaches, the top two vote-getters were Akron defender Joao Moutinho and Michigan forward Francis Atuahene. The conventional wisdom has had Stanford defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce as the odds-on favorite to be taken No. 1.
One issue is that Moutinho and Atuahene would have to be listed as international players, which could be an issue for LAFC as they have already landed solid prospects internationally and could be in the midst for more. The issue with Hilliard-Arce ss that, while he is a talented defender, that is not an area LAFC lacks presently since signing the likes of Walker Zimmerman and Laurent Ciman.
Midfield is a point of concern for LAFC and the only one of Goal.com’s top five prospects that could potentially fill that gap is Moutinho. Even though he was a defender for the Zips, some coaches see him playing a deep midfielder with his passing ability and field intelligence.
Then again, Atuahene has blazing speed and could complement Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi nicely.
Of course, one way to alleviate themselves of the stress of picking first would be to trade the pick away for a lower draft position, or even more picks — LAFC has the top pick in each of the first three rounds, but has no pick in the fourth round.
Sentimentality be damned, as LAFC may look to brand itself as being a much different team than other expansion squads who have held the No. 1 pick as a badge of honor.
To trade, it would take a significant outlay, a player, perhaps another first-rounder and even an additional pick in a later round to make it even remotely enticing to Bradley and Thorrington.
I think they keep the No. 1 pick and go with either Moutinho or Atuahene, despite their international status.
The 2018 MLS SuperDraft begins at 8 am PT Friday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!