After acquiring the No. 3 overall pick in a trade with DC United, LAFC selected defender Tristan Blackmon from the University of the Pacific.
A right back with size and versatility, Blackmon was named the West Coast Defender of the Year and led the Tigers' to an NCAA Tournament appearance in his senior season.
In four seasons with the Tigers, Blackmon scored 18 goals and assisted on 13 more. He is the first player in school history to be taken in the MLS SuperDraft.
In return for the third pick in the MLS SuperDraft, DC United received $100,000 General Allocation Money and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money from LAFC.
Q&A With Tristan Blackmon Following His Selection
First thoughts when you heard you’d been selected by LAFC?
"At first it was just pure awe. Being called, you try to prepare yourself for what you’re going to say before you go up there, and quite frankly, all the things I was prepared to say I forgot. There’s so many things and people that go into the process of getting you here. But pure excitement when my name was called and I was just ready to go from that moment."
What was your interaction with Bob Bradley and the LAFC staff like before the draft?
"During the combine we had meetings. There was a good connection there. I’m just honored to be able to work under them and the staff he’s brought in. When I got called, I was walking up and I got a hug from Bob and a couple of guys from the staff. After I was drafted, we’ve been doing interviews but hopefully I get to see them soon and say ‘thank you very much.’ I can’t wait to talk to them after all this craziness is over."
How would you describe your playing style on the pitch?
"I’m a defender first, so I’m trying to be the defender that I need to be. But also have an aggression going forward as a right back. Push my team forward. Give good crosses into the box. Whatever the team needs out of me and whatever position they need me in, I’ll do my best. And I’m excited to learn from the veterans there."
Is there a player, current or past, you can compare your game to?
"I like Joevin Jones a lot. Just the style that he has, he loves going forward. He’s a good defender but the attacking gut that he possesses is amazing. I try to emulate that type of aggression going forward as much as I can and also have the defensive awareness to help my team out."
What did you think about the traveling support of the 3252 at the SuperDraft?
"Absolutely amazing. From the moment my name was called, I felt welcomed as one of their own. I’m excited to meet everybody and I can’t thank them enough for being here on this special day."
What it like being the first player from University of the Pacific drafted MLS?
"It’s amazing to be able to pave the way for further generations out of Pacific to come to the League eventually. It’s absolutely amazing that I’m the one to be able to do that for them."