The Major League Soccer SuperDraft takes place on Friday, and Los Angeles Football Club will get the chance to bolster their roster with players coming out of college. This will be LAFC’s second draft in their history, after signing Joao Moutinho and Tristan Blackmon from the draft in 2018.
At this time last year, LAFC had not played a game, and did not have a full roster in their inaugural season. Coming into 2019, with a clearer picture of who they are as a team and their style of play under Bob Bradley, the Black-and-Gold have a much better idea of their needs in the roster for the next season.
The SuperDraft might not be the number one way to add to your team, but it is a good way to get some young players that can contribute on lower contracts, and could become a big part of a teams success (cough, cough, Julian Gressel). That being said, what positions should LAFC focus on as they enter their second MLS SuperDraft?
The story of LAFC’s offseason, so far, has been the opening in the center-back position. Laurent Ciman left in the middle of the season for France, and has now returned to MLS with Toronto FC. Eddie Segura was signed in the offseason from Colombia, but has never played in MLS before. Dejan Jakovic is out of contract and does not appear like he will return. Danilo Silva will reportedly come back to LAFC, but that is not yet official. Walker Zimmerman’s future is still up in the air, but is currently out of contract and able to go wherever he wants outside MLS. While LAFC are in better shape in the full-back position with Steven Beitashour, Jordan Harvey, Blackmon, and Mohamed El-Munir, they are a bit short-handed in the center of their defense. The draft is a good place to look for some players who can contribute defensively, and with this position of need, LAFC will look here first. Our own SB Nation Mock Draft had LAFC taking Wouter Verstraaten out of University of the Pacific (the same place they drafted Tristan Blackmon from last year) with the 16th pick, before they traded that pick and some Allocation Money to FC Cincinnati for Cincy’s fourth round pick in this draft and their 2020 Allocation Ranking. Given that LAFC have three picks in the draft, although not in the first round anymore, I would not be shocked if they spent a couple of the picks on defenders.
The last pick that LAFC will use might very well be on a midfielder. The college game might not be the same as the professional game, but you can find some quality players to work in the midfield in the draft. LAFC is not too short on midfielders, having Mark-Anthony Kaye, Lee Nguyen, Eduard Atuesta, and Designated Player Andre Horta. But Kaye is coming off an injury, Horta didn’t exactly reach expectations since joining the team, and Benny Feilhaber’s future is uncertain after his contract ran out. LAFC could use some midfield reinforcements, by which I do not mean attacking midfielders. LAFC has plenty of pieces moving up the pitch. If they go with a midfielder in the draft, it would likely be a more defensive player, or a pass-first kind of guy to help with the offense, but bring something different than what LAFC already has.
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