On Tuesday December 12th Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will begin their formal connection with Major League Soccer (MLS). LAFC will be participating in the MLS Expansion draft a selection process that will begin to help round out their roster as they go into their first year of play.
LAFC will be able to choose up to five players comprised from the leagues other 22 teams, LAFC will only be able to choose one player from a team. Teams can protect 11 players between their Senior, Supplemental and Reserve Roster. No trades will be permitted during the draft.
So far the other 22 teams have yet to reveal who will be available for the draft and LAFC has not indicated what players they will be seeking. So far there are five players on the official roster of which only Carlos Vela and Omar Gaber are considered senior team players, the other three players are currently loaned out to Orange County Soccer Club (OCSC) the USL team for LAFC.
What Bob Bradley is looking for in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft.
— LAFC (@LAFC) December 9, 2017
Last season the expansion side Atlanta United were able to receive allocation money when they didn’t use all their picks, another consideration for LAFC especially if they want to use the money to bring in another big signing.
LAFC coach Bob Bradley has been here before having started his MLS coaching career with the expansion club Chicago Fire in 1997. If the past is any indidcation of Bradley’s intentions it should be noted that back then Bradley chose a defender first and two goalkeepers among his first six picks out of 12.
The expansion draft is just one way Bradley can make up his roster, in January LAFC will be picking first in the MLS SuperDraft and will have four rounds to choose among the best players from the United States college soccer scene. Once LAFC is done making moves through the draft there is the Winter Transfer Window where LAFC can enter into negotiations with clubs around the world to acquire players.
Vela is one of the players that will officially transfer during the Winter window. Bradley will be able to get more senior team players through the end of January.
Recently LAFC hired former MLS-All Star Juan Pablo Angel as technical consultant. A former player for both club and country in Colombia, Angel is expected to help LAFC gain a foothold in South America. It’s likely the club will use their resources throughout the world in soccer, the hiring of Angel indicates that they may look to South America first to create a pipeline for talent.
Juan Pablo Angel is Black & Gold.
He joins #LAFC as a Technical Consultant.
— LAFC (@LAFC) December 8, 2017
Tuesday’s expansion draft is the beginning of what LAFC will look like for their upcoming inaugural season. It will be the team’s first opportunity to start to look like a professional team, it is an indication that LAFC is no longer a concept but the real thing.