MLS held the Waiver Draft on Wednesday, and Los Angeles Football Club selected one of the four players taken leaguewide, in forward Ricky Lopez-Espin.
Lopez-Espin, 23, was a second-round draft pick by Real Salt Lake in 2018. He only made one appearance in MLS last season for RSL, coming off the bench for 22 minutes. The Florida native did spend time with RSL’s USL team, Real Monarchs, playing in eight games and 318 minutes there in total.
He played collegiately at NCAA powerhouse Creighton, and scored a goal in the MLS Combine prior to the draft.
This is an interesting pick-up by LAFC, since he’s basically just above a rookie in terms of experience on the field. It’s not guaranteed he’ll make the team, as LAFC still need to offer him a contract and sign it and everything, and I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if he’s brought in for preseason on a trial basis to see if he makes the team. We’ll have to see on that front.
At any rate, if he does make the 2019 roster, Lopez-Espin would almost certainly be roster depth, as he hasn’t had much of a chance to play yet at the pro level.
In other Waiver Draft news, LAFC forward Marco Ureña was selected by the Chicago Fire. So the same situation applies for him, and it seems pretty much certain that he will not return for LAFC. That door was only open a crack in the first place, but it’s basically assured now.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!