2018 MLS SuperDraft

 

Watch: All Access At The 2018 MLS SuperDraft

LAFC Picks

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."

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." 

LAFC SELECTS JOAO MOUTINHO WITH TOP PICK IN CLUB’S FIRST MLS SUPERDRAFT

Club Also Acquires Tristan Blackmon and Pol Calvet Planellas with the 3rd and 24th Pick

The Los Angeles Football Club today added three new players in the first MLS SuperDraft in Club history, selecting Joao Moutinho from the University of Akron with the first overall pick and Tristan Blackmon from The University of the Pacific with the third selection. LAFC  acquired the third pick from D.C. United in exchange for $100,000 of General Allocated Money (GAM) and $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). The Club selected midfielder Pol Calvet Planellas from the University of Pittsburgh with the 24th pick in the Second Round.

“Today was a special day for our Club,” said LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley. “I think we got some young guys that are excited to be in L.A. and have a lot of talent. For me, it feels great that we are getting closer and closer to getting on the field, starting the season and eventually getting into our Banc of California Stadium.”

In his lone season at the University of Akron, Moutinho started all 24 games, scoring three goals and registering five assists in 2,109 minutes. Signed to a Generation adidas contract, Moutinho was an integral part of the Zip’s squad that posted 12 shutouts during the 2017 season. Moutinho was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, TopDrawerSoccer.com National Freshman of the Year and was a First-Team All-MAC performer in addition to earning First-Team United Soccer Coaches All-America honors. Moutinho is the second Akron player to be selected with the number one draft pick, after Steve Zakuani in 2009.

“We felt Joao was the top player in the draft,” LAFC General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations John Thorrington said. “He’s an intelligent player with great ability and is a great fit for the type of team we are building. We are proud to welcome Joao to the club as the first SuperDraft selection in LAFC history.”

Prior to his time with Akron, the Lisbon, Portugal native was a member of the prestigious Sporting Lisbon Academy where he served as a valuable addition to their U-15 and U-19 teams.

“Going to L.A. and to LAFC to play under Bob Bradley, I just can’t wait to get started,” said Moutinho. “This is a huge honor, I don’t even know how to put it into words.”

After acquiring the third selection from D.C United, LAFC made Blackmon the first-ever MLS draft pick from The University of the Pacific. Blackmon joins the Club after a decorated four-year career with the Tigers.  The 2017 West Coast Conference Defender of the Year, Blackmon saw action in 70 matches (68 starts), recording 16 goals and nine assists. He led the Tigers to consecutive NCAA bids in 2016 and 2017 and was named All-WCC three times during his career.

“Tristan is a solid, versatile player with a high level of athleticism,” Thorrington said. “We believe that he is a player of great promise who we are excited to add to our roster.”

A Las Vegas, Nevada native, Blackmon played club soccer  for the Las Vegas Sports Academy where he was named Best IX at the National Club Championships in 2015. A stand-out at Bishop Gorman High School, Blackmon led the team to the Nevada State Championship and the Sunset Region Championship in 2012 and the Southwest League Championship in 2010 and 2011.

“The feeling you get just hearing your name getting called third in the draft and going to a Club like LAFC - where I get to be in on the start of the program is amazing,” said Blackmon. “I’m ready to soak everything up and hit the ground running.”

The 24th pick of the draft, Calvet Planellas spent one season at the University of Pittsburgh where he made 12 starts in 14 appearances, recording one goal in 1,077 minutes. He led the Panthers with four assists and was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Third Team in 2017. The Barcelona, Spain native was the first Pitt Men’s Soccer Player to be invited to the adidas MLS Player Combine. 

“Pol Calvet brings a prestigious pedigree and ability in the middle of the field,” Thorrington said. “We look forward to his continued development with us at LAFC.”

Planellas was part of the FC Barcelona Academy where he made 19 appearances between 2013-2015. He represented Spain’s U-17 National team in 2011, earning four caps and one goal in 108 minutes. The 23-year-old midfielder played with Deportivo La Coruña B (Segunda División B) between 2016-2017, where he made 22 appearances, before moving to Llagostera-Costa Brava.

Transaction: Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) selects Joao Moutinho (1st overall),  Tristan Blackmon (3rd overall) and  Pol Calvet Planellas (24th overall) in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

Transaction: Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) acquires the third pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft from DC United in exchange for $100,000 of General Allocated Money and $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money. 

Where: Philadelphia, PA at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

When: Friday, January 19, 8:00 AM PST 

Rounds three and four of the SuperDraft will be held via conference call at 11:00 AM PST via conference call on Sun., Jan. 21. 

Number Of Rounds: Four Rounds (SuperDraft Order)

LAFC holds the No. 1 overall pick as the newest Club in MLS. Remaining 22 teams will pick in reverse order of where they finished last season.

Selection Clock: Teams are given four minutes to make a selection.

History Of MLS Expansion Picks In The SuperDraft

• With the first pick in team history, Toronto FC selected Maurice Edu from the University of Maryland. Edu would go on to win the MLS Rookie of the Year award that season and earn his first senior U.S. National Team cap. 

• In 2011, the Portland Timbers selected Darlington Nagbe with the No. 2 overall pick. The first SuperDraft pick in Portland history, Nagbe went on to lead the team to the 2015 MLS Cup and is now a regular with the USMNT.

• With the first pick in franchise history, Orlando City selected Cyle Larin from the University of Connecticut as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 SuperDraft. Larin went on to score 17 goals that season, breaking the MLS rookie scoring record. 

• In 2009, the Seattle Sounders picked Steve Zakuani with then No. 1 overall pick. The former Akron Zips player was an integral part of the Sounders' run to the 2009 U.S. Open Cup title.  

MLS SuperDraft Facts

• Since 1999, 14 of the 18 winners of the award have been chosen with a selection in the opening round. Twice, the No. 1 overall selection has gone on to win MLS Rookie of the Year honors –Maurice Edu in 2007 with Toronto FC, and Cyle Larin in 2015 with Orlando City SC.

• The University of California, Los Angeles has had five players taken with the No. 1 overall pick, the most of any school, after Abu Danladi waschosen first overall by MinnesotaUnited FC in the 2017 SuperDraft. The University of Connecticut has had three players taken with the first selection overall, while the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia have had two players taken with the first selection overall. A further six schools have had one player taken first overall: Duke University, the University of Akron, the University of North Carolina, Oregon State University, Saint Louis University and Wake Forest University.

• For the first time in MLS history, the No. 1 overall selection was traded on draft day after being selected first overall in the SuperDraft when Jack Harrison of Wake Forest University was chosen in 2016. Harrison was selected by the Chicago Fire with the No. 1 pick, who then sent him to New York City FC in exchange for the No.4 overall selection, which the Fire used to pick defender Brandon Vincent of Stanford University.

PLAYERS AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION IN 2018 MLS SUPERDRAFT

* GA = Generation adidas signee | S.Sr = Signed Seniors
Name Pos. School/Club
Acuna, Marcelo F Virginia Tech
Adams, Mo (GA) M Syracuse
Aguilar, Pablo M Virginia
Aguinaga, Jose F Rider
Alkebulan, Kaba F Cal Polytechnic State
Allmaras, Adam GK San Diego State
Alvarado, Ivan M/F Lipscomb
Andersen, Valdemar D Santa Clara
Andrade Santos, Rafael M/F VCU
Antley, Conner D Mercer
Apodaca, Aidan F California Baptist
Archer, Leland F College of Charleston
Arcila, Andres M Seton Hall
Argudo, Luis M/D Wake Forest
Atuahene, Francis (GA) M Michigan
Bagrou, Will F Mercer
Bakero, Jon (S.Sr) F Wake Forest
Balf, Henry M Boston College
Bangerl, Alex D Columbia
Banton, Kareem D Cleveland State
Bared, Chris D Villanova
Barlow, Tom F Wisconsin
Barnes, Brandon GK Bradley
Bartosinski, Andreas M Villanova
Belana, Pau M Akron
Berumen, Esteban F Notre Dame De Namur
Black, Kevon D Duke
Blackmon, Tristan D Pacific
Blackwood, Kevin D/M Ohio State
Bosua, Arthur F Columbia
Braman, Alexander D Saint Mary's College
Brown, Cory D Xavier
Bumpus, Alex D Kentucky
Bye, Brandon M Western Michigan
Caldwell, Jeff GK Virginia
Calvet Planellas, Pol M Pitt
Campbell, George D Maryland
Campos, Diego M/F Clemson
Carey Morrell, Jaime D Cal State, Bakersfield
Carrera-Garcia, Jose M/F California
Catalano, Michael M Wisconsin
Cavey, Colton M Gonzaga
Chaffin, Satoshi F Santa Clara
Charles, Naeem M Long Island Univ.
Chinchilla, Saul F/D Clemson
Christensen, Paul GK Portland
Cichero, Mauro F SMU
Clark, Bryce D/M SMU
Coffey, Matthew M Portland
Collier, Elliot F Loyola Chicago
Collishaw , Tyler F Lindsay Wilson College
Colmer, Fraser D Radford
Coly, Cheikh Stephane M SMU
Cooksley, Harry M/F St. John's
Cordeiro, Manuel M Akron
Corti, Nicolas GK Stanford
D'Argent, Louis M Coastal Carolina
Danilack, Matt M Dartmouth
Delgadillo, Carlos F Santa Clara
DeVera, Niko D Akron
Dick , Eric GK Butler
Dirks, Henning F George Mason
Dowse, Tyler D/M Dartmouth College
Duchscherer, Julius M NC State
Duvernay, Caleb D NC State
Echevarria, Steven M/D Wake Forest
Edelmann, Kevin D/M Furman
Ekern , Fletcher M/D East Tennessee State
Eliott, Daniel F Hofstra
Enstrom, David D/M St. John's
Eskay, William F/M College of William and Mary
Eyporsson, Asgeir D Delaware
Farina, Jeffrey F Notre Dame
Fatton, Luc M VCU
Fiddes, Justin D Washington
Fiscus, Jimmy D Michigan State
Fjortoft, Markus D Duke
Franke, Noah D/M Creighton
Gainford, Sam F/M Akron
Gallagher, Jon (S.Sr) F Notre Dame
Ghitis, Joseph GK Univ of Nebraska Omaha
Giron Gutierrez, Miguel D Coastal Carolina
Gleadle, Sam F New Mexico
Godoy, Giovanni F/M UC Irvine
Gomez, Ricardo M South Florida
Gomez, Xavier M/F Univ of Nebraska Omaha
Guirassy, Mamadou F NJIT
Habrowski, Matt D Notre Dame
Hague, Nicholas M/D Georgia State
Hauck, Gregg M/D UMBC
Haupt, James M/F Dayton
Hezel, Marvin D FIU
Hill, Mauriq D Pitt
Hillard-Arce, Tomas (S.Sr) CB Stanford
Hoffmeister, Paul F/M Utah Valley
Holthusen, Stuart F Akron
Howell, Ramone M/F Valparaiso
Hubbard, Chris GK Notre Dame
Iloski, Brian M UCLA
Jackson, Niki F Grand Canyon
Jamie, Miguel M Florida Gulf Coast
Jepson, Audi M/F Wisconsin - Green Bay
Jones, Jordan F Oregon State
Knudson, Zach F Georgetown
Kohl, Nate F Ohio State
Krolicki, Ken M Michigan State
Kubel, Tim D/M Louisville
Kudolo, Ebenezer M/D High Point
Kunkel, Joey D Louisville
Laokandi, Collyns D St. Francis College
Lawal, Chris F George Washington
Leeker, Jacob GK Memphis
Leifhelm, Nils GK Rhode Island
Lema, Chris M Georgetown
Leonard, Eric D/M Butler
Levene, Scott GK UConn
Loebe, Jannik F/M Fordham
Logue, Niall D Ohio State
Lomis, Marios F Creighton
Lopez-Espin, Ricky M/F Creighton
Lundgaard, Ben GK Virginia Tech
Machado , Dominik M Providence
Madrigal, Alvaro M Loyola Marymount
Manley, Carter D Duke
Marie, Paul M/D FIU
McCabe, Declan M Georgetown
McGrath, Ian D/M Univ of Evansville
McLagan, Kyle D Furman
McWoods, Eric F Univ of Missouri - KC
Meefout, Jeroen F San Diego State
Melvin, Michael M/D Clemson
Mendoza, Luis F Iona College
Michaelson, Christo M Gonzaga
Moon, Nicholas F Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Moro, Mohammed D/M Boston College
Morrison, Andre D Hartford
Morton, Josh D California
Moutinho, Joao (GA) D Akron
Mueller, Chris (S.Sr) F Wisconsin
Mueller, Tim F Oregon State
Musovski, Danny F UNLV
Navarro, Alvaro F/M Dayton
Nelson, Michael GK SMU
Nembhard, Deshawon D FIU
Novotny, Mike GK Eastern Illinois
Nyemewero, Bafiele Issaka F  
Ohlmann, Corentin D Cal State - Fullerton
Olsen, Thomas GK San Diego
Omsberg, Wyatt D Dartmouth
Opoku, Edward (GA) F Virginia
Padilla, Manny CB San Francisco
Partida, Kevin M UNLV
Patterson, Arthur M/D Wright State
Philllipe, Thiabault D Delaware
Pierrot, Frandtzy F Coastal Carolina
Pinheiro, Afonso F Albany
Pitt, Marquis F UNLV
Polley, Miguel F/M Villanova
Power, Onah M UC Davis
Priestley, Liam GK Missouri State
Pyle, William GK South Carolina
Pyysalo, Matias M/F Central Florida
Rebecchini, Ugo D California
Ricci, Austin F Oakland
Rice, Jared D/M SMU
Robertson, Hunter D/M Ohio State
Rocha, Rollie M University of Tulsa
Roldan, Alex M Seattle
Rozhansky, Jake M Maryland
Ruiz, Albert F Florida Gulf Coast
Sa, Erik M Rutgers
Sacremento, Dylan F Florida Gulf Coast
Sady, Christian M Harvard
Salazar, Greg D University of California, Davis
Salcedo-Borrego, Paul F California
Samayoa, Nicolas D Florida Gulf Coast
Sanchez, Rafael D Saint Mary's College
Sasivarevic, Amer M/F Grand Canyon
Schmidt, Robin F New Hampshire
Schwarzer, Leon M San Francisco
Segbers, Mark F Wisconsin
Seye, Khadim M Grand Canyon
Shannon, Oliver M Clemson
Shepherd, Drew GK Western Michigan
Shultz, Nate D Akron
Sivakumar, Aravind M California
Skundrich, Drew M Stanford
Slotemaker, Johnson 'Fox' D Old Dominion
Smith, Graham D/M Denver
Souahy, Alexis D Bowling Green
Stauffer, Lucas D Creighton
Stavrou, Zack D Tulsa
Steeves , Mac F Providence
Steiner, Will GK Villanova
Stevens, Billy D Michigan
Stewart, Nick GK Bryant
Stripling, Colin M Monmouth
Stroud, Jared M Colgate
Sullivan, Sheldon D Virginia
Sunol-Rojas, Marco F UNC Charlotte
Tamburini, Elias D Virginia Tech
Thiaw, Mohamed F Louisville
Thomson, Kyle M Loyola - Chicago
Tomlinson, Donald M FIU
Toye, Mason (GA) F Indiana
Tuvesson, Doyle F Lehigh
Twumasi, Ema (GA) F Wake Forest
Usen, Emmanuel F California State, Northridge
Valverde, David M Univ of Alabama at Birmingham
Vancaeyezeele , Thomas D University of Charleston
Vancore-Decker, Ethan F Rutgers
Vasquenza, Matthew F Xavier
Wallander-Ianev, Chris D South Carolina
Wancowicz, Samuel D Pennsylvania
White, Brian M/F Duke
White, Ben D Gonzaga
Wild, Gordon (GA) F Maryland
Williams, Wilfred D Oakland
Winn, Alan F UNC
Wright, Jason F Clemson