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LAFC take Joao Moutinho with No. 1 pick in 2018 MLS Draft

Akron defender becomes first pick for club.

NCAA Soccer: College Cup-Stanford vs Akron
Akron Zips defender Joao Moutinho (2) chases after the ball with Stanford Cardinal forward Foster Langsdorf (2) in the first half during the College Cup semifinal at Talen Energy Stadium.
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Football Club chose Akron University defender and Generation Adidas player Joao Moutinho with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

Moutinho was a member of the Sporting Lisbon academy as a youth and played one season with Akron. During his time with the Zips, he scored three goals and had five assists in 24 appearances.

“It is just a roller coaster of emotions to be honest,” Moutinho told at the draft. “To be the first pick in a great group of players, it is just an honor for me.”

Following his first season, Moutinho was named the National Freshman of the Year.

He is the second University of Akron player to be taken No. 1 in the SuperDraft. Steve Zakuani was chosen by Seattle Sounders FC with the No. 1 pick in 2009.

As a Generation Adidas player, Moutinho will count less to LAFC’s salary budget for an indeterminate period, usually one to two years, depending on how much he plays in that span. That will give LAFC greater flexibility in their roster construction.

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