For the first time since 2009, Real Salt Lake was left unscathed after the MLS Expansion Draft, with no players being selected by Los Angeles Football Club.
Who was selected? Perhaps surprisingly, none of the big names available were picked up, and we’re left with a distinct impression that LAFC is going for depth here instead of trade-bait.
1. Tyler Miller, goalkeeper, Seattle Sounders
A third-year goalkeeper, Miller has played only twice in MLS — but with nearly 50 appearances in USL, he’s not totally untried. It’s not much experience, but there’s a relationship there that makes this an easy proposition for coach Bob Bradley and general manager John Thorrington.
2. Latif Blessing, forward, Sporting Kansas City
Here’s an interesting pick — Blessing, 20, is still very young, and he’s a promising forward. With Sporting Kansas City, the former Ghana Premier League leading goalscorer scored just three goals, so he’s clearly not a finished product.
3. Marco Ureña, forward, San Jose Earthquakes
LAFC picked another forward in Marco Ureña, a Costa Rican international that’s never been a prolific goalscorer — anywhere. In 2017, he scored five goals, an all-time high in his career.
4. Jukka Raitala, left back, Columbus Crew
Ah! Here we go. This is the first pick that really jumps out at me. Raitala is an experienced left back, but he’s only 29, so he’s somewhere near the peak of his career. The Crew only signed Raitala a year ago, but he played in 28 matches.
5. Raheem Edwards, midfielder, Toronto FC
Imagine getting picked in the expansion draft only three days after you won the MLS Cup. It’s a wild world out there. Edwards was a rotational player, which makes sense as a 22-year-old.