On Tuesday December 12, newly-formed Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) hosted the 11th MLS Expansion Draft and acquired these five players:
Tyler Miller-GK (Seattle Sounders)
Latif Blessing-Forward (Sporting Kansas City)
Marco Urena-Forward (San Jose Earthquakes)
Jukka Raitala-Defender (Columbus Crew)
Raheem Edwards-Defender (Toronto FC)
While these were great signings, LAFC had bigger ambitions.
Just hours after the draft, they traded Raitala and Edwards to Montreal Impact for seasoned MLS Defender Laurent Ciman.
After an excellent career with Standard Liege, Ciman moved to Montreal before the 2015 season. In that same year, his robust tackling and excellent positional sense earned him MLS defender of the year. He would go on to be a two-time all-star during his tenure with the Impact.
While many claim that a move to the MLS would hurt a player’s chances when earning call-ups to the national side, Former Belgium manager Marc Wilmots was impressed with his performances and included him in the squad for the EURO 2016. He started in the opening match vs. Italy, which they lost 2-0.
For LAFC, this signing is a logical one. The best teams have a solid defense. Along with the signings of defenders Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas) and Omar Gaber (FC Basel On-Loan), manager Bob Bradley seeks to ensure that his teams will not concede many goals in next year’s MLS campaign.
“A starting point for how we defend.”
— LAFC (@LAFC) December 13, 2017
Following the same route as Atlanta United, LAFC has also signed 19-year-old Uruguayan international Diego Rossi as their second designated player, opting for youth over an experienced veteran at the back end of his career.
Rossi made 46 appearances in all competitions for famed Uruguayan side Penarol in 2016-17 scoring 13 goals in the process. With his ability to play up top as a center forward or drift out wide as a winger, he provides Bradley with many options when adjusting his tactics game-to-game.
From Montevideo to Los Angeles.
— LAFC (@LAFC) December 14, 2017
With youthful skill and experience at the back, LAFC not only seeks to do well in their first season but compete with the best in the Western and Eastern Conferences.
LAFC are #BuildingToWin