Coming into the 2019 MLS Draft on Friday, it seemed like it would probably be a quiet day for Los Angeles Football Club. One pick, deep in the second round, and they might take a backseat to proceedings at McCormick Place in Chicago.
In the end, that is what happened, with their selection being Jamaican international Peter-Lee Vassell, but that doesn’t tell the full story of the day for the black-and-gold.
It began shortly before the draft began, with reports leaking out that LAFC were in talks to acquire the No. 1 pick from FC Cincinnati.
Told that several teams have made pushes for the No. 1 overall pick, including LAFC. Would take something special to pry it away from FC Cincinnati at this point.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) January 11, 2019
When the draft stream itself kicked off, LAFC GM John Thorrington was hanging around FC Cincinnati’s table. FC Cincinnati called timeout, on the very first pick! It looked a deal was being done.
In the end, it wasn’t. Thorrington literally walked away. FCC picked Frankie Amaya from UCLA, who professed his love for LAFC at the combine.
Would a deal be announced after the fact? Nope. MLSsoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal reported that LAFC offered Cincy $200,000 in allocation money plus an international roster spot, and Cincinnati wanted $500,000 in allocation, and LAFC said “No thanks.”
Sources: LAFC came very close to acquiring No. 1 pick. Offered Cincy $200k combined TAM/GAM and international spot. Cincy countered with $500k combined TAM/GAM. LAFC passed, Cincy drafted Amaya.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) January 11, 2019
So far, no deal has been announced so it appears any potential deal there is dead at this point.
But that wasn’t the only potential trade action for LAFC. They went to the Houston Dynamo’s table at one point...
LAFC asst GM Will Kuntz was just over at the Houston Dynamo table. Houston has the No. 8 pick...— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) January 11, 2019
And a source told Angels on Parade that Thorrington was spotted at the LA Galaxy’s table at one point in the draft, too. There were reports that they were mingling at a couple other team tables, too.
But, in the end they didn’t do any draft day trades. So it goes. It seemed like Thorrington and Kuntz were trolling for deals, but nothing good enough to snag their proverbial line in the end.
In the end, we’ll remember this opening day of the 2019 MLS Draft from LAFC’s perspective for the one player they took, but amid about a half-dozen teams active in the trade market on Friday, they ultimately stayed on the sideline, even though they nearly took the No. 1 pick two years in a row, to say nothing of other deals.
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