Los Angeles FC selected five players earlier today in the MLS Expansion Draft ahead of the club’s inaugural season. None of Orlando City’s unprotected players were selected. Here’s a quick look at what each new LAFC player brings to the table.
#1 - Tyler Miller
Goalkeeper Drafted from Seattle Sounders FC
Tyler Miller has been a back-up ‘keeper in the Emerald City for the past two seasons. A prospect of Northwestern University -- where he finished with a school record 36 shoutouts -- Miller’s 6’4” frame is one of his stand-out attributes in between the sticks.
#2 - Latif Blessing
Forward Drafted from Sporting KC
The Ghanaian international recently received his green card so he will not occupy an international slot for LAFC. Blessing is a lightning-quick forward with an eye for goal at all times. A potential partnership with Carlos Vela up top for LA could be something to look out for in 2018.
#3 - Marco Ureña
Forward Drafted from San Jose Earthquakes
Marco Ureña will occupy an international slot on LAFC’s roster. The Costa Rican forward netted five for San Jose in 2017 and is known for making dashing runs in behind defenses. Ureña was Johnny-on-the-spot on Decision Day to send the ‘Quakes into the playoffs with a stoppage time winner. Now he’ll line up alongside Vela and Blessing up top for LA.
#4 - Jukka Raitala
Defender Drafted from Columbus Crew SC
Jukka Raitala joined Crew SC ahead of 2017 and played a significant role in his team’s run toward the end of the regular season to make the playoffs. Raitala hails from Finland where he has enjoyed plenty of national team experience at the youth and senior levels.
#5 - Raheem Edwards
Midfielder/Defender Drafted from Toronto FC
Raheem Edwards is a gifted young player who has a proven ability to play multiple positions. The left-footed 22-year-old will probably be asked to play in forward, midfield and even defensive roles on the left flank for LAFC in 2018.