With the first MLS SuperDraft pick in Club history, LAFC selected defender Joao Moutinho of the University of Akron.
Moutinho came to Akron by way of the Sporting Lisbon Academy in Portugal. As a freshman, he started all 24 games for the Zips en route to being named the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year and first-team All-MAC honors.
With Moutinho at the helm of the defense, Akron posted 12 shutouts during the 2017 season. Primarily deployed at center back, Moutinho chipped in on the offensive side as well scoring three goals and assisting on five more. Following his freshman season, Moutinho became the 12th Zips player to be signed to a Generation adidas contract.
Q&A With Joao Moutinho Following His Selection
First thoughts when you heard you’d been selected by LAFC?
"I don’t even know what I was thinking at the moment to be honest. I was just so ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to get up there and thank everyone for this big opportunity."
What was your interaction with Bob Bradley and the LAFC staff like before the draft?
"We had a meeting and we talked about the possibility of me going there. But I didn’t know where I was going until they called my name. I’m really ecstatic that they gave me this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started to honor this club."
How would you describe your playing style on the pitch?
"I really am a team player. I’ll play whatever the coach wants me to, and I think that’s the most important thing. I’m a determined guy and I always do my best for the team."
Is there a player, current or past, you can compare your game to?
"There’s not one player that I think I look like out there. But I certainly idolize some players."
What did you think about the traveling support of the 3252 at the SuperDraft?
"It was awesome. When they started chanting my name I couldn’t believe it. That’s a great emotion for me."