LAFC picks Akron's Joao Moutinho with top pick in MLS SuperDraft

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Friday, January 19, 2018

LAFC selected a pair of full-backs with two of the first three picks in Friday's MLS SuperDraft for college players, starting withAkron's Joao Moutinho with the top selection.

But perhaps the biggest news to come out of the draft came when hosts Philadelphia Union sent $1.2 million in allocation to the Chicago Fire for winger David Accam.

Moutinho, who turned 20 last week, is primarily a left-back but can play in both defense and midfield.The Portugal native scored three goals with five assists in 24 games in his only collegiate season at Akron and was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year.

The expansion club then worked a trade with D.C. United to move up to the third pick and selected the top-rated available right-back inTristan Blackmon from Pacific. In exchange, D.C. received $100,000 in targeted allocation money and another $100,000 in general allocation money.

Moutinho has already signed a Generation Adidas contract with MLS and will now be assigned to expansion club LAFC, which begins its inaugural season in March. As aGeneration Adidas player,Moutinho's salary will not count against LAFC's salary budget.

"It's a roller coaster of emotions to be honest," Moutinho said after being selected. "It's something I never thought about when I came here. To be the first pick in a great group of players is an honor for me."

Moutinho, who previously played in Sporting Lisbon's academy, is the second Akron player to be selected with the top pick, afterSteve Zakuani in 2009.

The LA Galaxy also selected a defender with the second pick, taking center-back Tomas Hilliard-Arce out of Stanford, where he won three national titles.

FC Dallas moved up to select Michigan wingerFrancis Atuahene with the fourth pick after sending $200,000 in general allocation money to the Montreal Impact.

The Chicago Fire also traded up to the fifth pick to select striker Jon Bakero, the winner of the Hermann Trophy, college soccer's top individual award, after scoring16 goals in 23 games for Wake Forest last year.

Bakero is the son of Jose Mari Bakero, who played for Real Sociedad and Barcelona in the 1980s and '90s, and appeared for Spain at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

NCAA assists leaderChris Mueller of Wisconsin went sixth to Orlando City.

Minnesota United then spent most of the money it gained in the trade with Chicago to take Montreal's pick at No. 7, and selected Indiana freshman strikerMason Toye. The Loons also added goalkeeper Matt Lampson and the No. 15 pick from Chicago in the deal.

The New England Revolution, under new coach Brad Friedel, took a pair of surprises at No. 8 and No. 9 in Western Michigan's Brandon Bye and Wisconsin's Mark Segbers.

The Fire kept dealing and picked the top-rated defensive midfielder in Syracuse's Mo Adams at No. 10 after a trade with Real Salt Lake.

The first goalkeeper off the board was Butler's Eric Dick, who went 13th to Sporting Kansas City, before a string of three in a row later in the first round to NYCFC, Houston and Columbus.

The Seattle Sounders selected midfielder Alex Roldan -- Cristian Roldan's younger brother -- with their first pick at No. 22.

Round 1

*-draft-day trade

1. LAFC:Joao Moutinho, D/M (Akron)

2. LA Galaxy:Tomas Hilliard-Arce, D (Stanford)

3. LAFC (from D.C. United*): Tristan Blackmon, D (Pacific)

4. Dallas (from Montreal*, from Colorado):Francis Atuahene, M/F (Michigan)

5. Chicago (from Minnesota*): Jon Bakero, F (Wake Forest)

6. Orlando: Chris Mueller, F (Wisconsin)

7. Minnesota (from Montreal*): Mason Toye, F (Indiana)

8. New England (from Philadelphia):Brandon Bye, D/M (Western Michigan)

9. New England: Mark Segbers, D/F (Wisconsin)

10. Chicago (from Real Salt Lake*): Mo Adams, M (Syracuse)

11. Dallas:Ema Twumasi, M (Wake Forest)

12. San Jose: Paul Marie, M/D (Florida International)

13. Sporting KC: Eric Dick, G (Butler)

14. Atlanta: Jon Gallagher, F (Notre Dame)

15. Minnesota (from Chicago*): Wyatt Omsberg, D (Dartmouth)

16. Red Bulls: Brian White, F (Duke)

17. Vancouver: Justin Fiddes, D (Washington)

18. Sporting KC (from Portland): Graham Smith, D (Denver)

19. NYCFC: Jeff Caldwell, G (Virginia)

20. Houston: Michael Nelson, G (SMU)

21. Columbus: Ben Lundgaard, G (Virginia Tech)

22. Seattle: Alex Roldan, M (Seattle)

23. Minnesota (from Toronto*): Carter Manley, D (Duke)

Round 2

24. LAFC:Pol Calvet Planellas, M (Pitt)

25. Colorado (from LA Galaxy): Alan Winn, F (North Carolina)

26. Vancouver (from D.C. United): Lucas Stauffer, D (Creighton)

27. Colorado: Frantzdy Pierrot, F (Coastal Carolina)

28. Toronto (from Minnesota*): Tim Kubel, D (Louisville)

29. Dallas (from Orlando):Mauro Cichero, F (SMU)

30. San Jose (from Montreal): Danny Musovski, F (UNLV)

31. Red Bulls (from Philadelphia):Niko de Vera, D (Akron)

32. Columbus (from New England):Edward Opoku, F (Virginia)

33. Real Salt Lake: Ricky Lopez-Espin, M (Creighton)

34. Dallas:Chris Lema, M (Georgetown)

35. San Jose: Mohamed Thiaw, F (Louisville)

36. Atlanta (from Sporting KC): Oliver Shannon, M (Clemson)

37. Atlanta: Gordon Wild, F (Maryland)

38. Chicago:Diego Campos, M (Clemson)

39. Red Bulls:Tom Barlow, F (Wisconsin)

40. LA Galaxy (from Vancouver): Drew Skundrich, M (Stanford)

41. Minnesota (from Portland):Xavier Gomez, M (Nebraska-Omaha)

42. NYCFC: AJ Paterson, D (Wright State)

43. Houston:Mac Steeves, F (Providence)

44. Columbus:Jake Rozhansky, M (Maryland)

45. Seattle:Markus Fjortoft, D (Duke)

46. Toronto: Drew Shepherd, G (Western Michigan)

The third and fourth rounds will take place via a conference call on Sunday.

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