Feb. 20, 2018
MLS Aces 2017 LAFC Mock Draft Potential Pick
The 2017 MLS Expansion Draft is upon us and the league's new club, LAFC, will get to pick five players. Before we explain which players are possibilities, let's look at LAFC's current roster; Forward-Carlos Vela, Defender-Omar Gaber, and Defender-Walker Zimmerman. When I look at new MLS clubs joining the league, the biggest mistakes I see is not building a defense. With Bob Bradley running things I believe that he understands the importance of defense and a strong backline. With a starting caliber center-back in Zimmerman and a starting caliber right-back in Gaber, LAFC can use two of their five picks to sure up a backline. So here are a few players that make sense for LAFC to take tomorrow;
-Yamil Asad, Atlanta United FC, Winger
Yamil Asad may have been the most productive name on this list. In 2017 Asad was able to play in 32 games for Atlanta while scoring 7 goals and 13 assists. Asad produced like a DP in 2017 and at the end of the day is very young. The only difficulties in the case of Asad is that he is on loan with Velez and LAFC isn't sure how much it'll cost to sign him permanently. Finally, Asad is an international and would take up an international slot.
-Romario Williams, Atlanta United FC, Striker
Here is a player that you aren't going to see on many other mock expansion draft lists. Again, Williams is an international and would take an international spot, but his talent speaks for himself. Williams played 22 games for the Charleston Battery in the USL this season, scoring a total of 15 goals. Williams has a knack for putting the ball in the back of the net and just seems to be waiting for a shot at constant MLS minutes.
-Matt Lampson, Chicago Fire, Goalkeeper
There are many options at goalkeeper for LAFC heading into 2018. One of them is Chicago Fire goalie, Matt Lampson. Lampson started 24 games for the Fire in 2017 and in doing so he recorded 8 shutouts with 12 wins.
-Waylon Francis, Columbus Crew SC, Left-back
Francis is now only 3 years removed from starting for a MLS Cup finalist. Francis is only 27 and he played in 12 games this season. Francis has fallen out of favor in Columbus and moving to a new club could be a good move for the Costa Rican fullback.
-Josh Williams, Columbus Crew SC, Center-back
The 29 year old center-back had a career redemption season in 2017 with the Columbus Crew. Williams played in 22 games for the Crew adding on 3 goals as well. Williams is older and that may hurt his chances of being drafted, but his 2017 may bolster his chances of starting next to Zimmerman in 2018.
-Miguel Ibarra, Minnesota United FC, Midfielder
Miguel Ibarra didn't have such a smooth transition to MLS as other NASL Loons did in 2017. Ibarra was able to play in 29 games for Minnesota while he scored 3 goals and had 4 assists. I believe that Ibarra has the talent to start and perform in MLS, but not behind Adrian Heath. Maybe Ibarra heading back out to California and playing under Bob Bradley can rejuvenate his career.
-Chris Tierney, New England Revolution, Left-back
Tierney is one of the best left-backs in Major League Soccer and him being available for LAFC is HUGE! A backline of Tierney, Zimmerman, some other center-back, and Gaber easily becomes one of the best in the league. Tierney was able to play in 26 games in 2017 while scoring 1 goal and 5 assists. He adds so much to any defense and would be one of the best choices for LAFC early on.
-Maxime Chanot, New York City FC, Center-back
Speaking of some other center-back...Maxime Chanot has been a great defender for NYCFC and his national team of Luxembourg. Chanot playing next to Zimmerman could have us fans seeing a strength in the middle of LAFC's defense heading into 2018. Chanot also adds a great offensive factor on corner kicks and free kicks.
-Clint Irwin, Toronto FC, Goalkeeper
Irwin is only 28 years old and still has plenty of years left as a starting goalkeeper. Irwin lost his starting spot to Alex Bono this year but still could start in many spots in MLS. Irwin started 6 games this year recording 2 shutouts. Irwin is an MLS veteran and I think could start for LAFC.
-Raheem Edwards, Toronto FC, Left-back/Left Winger
Finally, we have the young Canadian, Raheem Edwards. Edwards is only 22 years old and in 2017 had a breakout season as a wingback. Edwards played in 21 games for TFC and was a key role player for the club. Edwards is an international which might hurt him, but his youth and position could be a key for him to land in LA.