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2018 MLS SuperDraft: Akron’s Joao Moutinho goes No. 1


Akron’s Joao Moutinho was selected Friday by Los Angeles FC with the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

The day also featured a major trade: The Philadelphia Union acquired forward Davis Accam from Chicago for $1.2 million in allocation money.

Moutinho, 19, turned heads at the MLS combine. Last season as a freshman defender, he started in all 24 games for the Zips and was named the Mid-American Conference freshman of the year.

LAFC traded up with D.C. United for the No. 3 overall pick, taking defender Tristan Blackmon from the University of the Pacific. Blackmon was the West Coast Conference defender of the year last season as a senior.

LAFC is new to the league this season, named as an expansion team in late 2014 shortly after Chivas USA folded.

With the No. 2 pick, the LA Galaxy selected defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce out of Stanford. The Galaxy were without coach Sigi Schmid at the draft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Schmid was ill and couldn’t attend in person.

LAFC brings the league to 23 teams, 12 in the Western Conference and 11 in the Eastern Conference. The team’s ownership group is led by venture capitalist Henry Nguyen, as well as Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber and former NBA executive Tom Penn.

Coach Michael Bradley needed to build on a roster that stood at 12 players before the draft. The team’s biggest need was a midfielder to join Benny Feilhaber and Omar Gaber.

The team has been building around designated players Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi of Uruguay, as well as Egyptian defender Omar Gaber and American defender Walker Zimmerman, acquired last month in a trade with FC Dallas. LAFC has reportedly been negotiating with free-agent defender Steven Beitashour from Toronto.

Accam had 14 goals and eight assists last year in his third season with the Fire. For his MLS career, the native of Ghana has 33 goals and 15 assists.

When the trade was announced in Philadelphia, the Union’s Sons of Ben supporters group chanted “Thank You Earnie!” in a nod to the team’s sporting director Earnie Stewart.

The trade included $300,000 in general allocation money and $900,000 in targeted allocation money.



1. Los Angeles FC – Joao Moutinho (Akron) 

2. LA Galaxy – Tomas Hilliard-Arce (Stanford) 

3. Los Angeles FC (from D.C. United) – Tristan Blackmon (Pacific) 

4. FC Dallas (from Montreal Impact) – Francis Atuahene (Michigan) 

5. Chicago Fire (from Minnesota United FC) – Jon Bakero (Wake Forest)

6. Orlando City SC – Chris Mueller (Wisconsin)

7. Minnesota United (from Montreal Impact) – Mason Toye (Indiana)

8. New England Revolution (from Philadelphia Union) – Brandon Bye (Western Michigan) 

9. New England Revolution – Mark Segbers (Wisconsin)

10. Chicago Fire (from Real Salt Lake) – Mo Adams (Syracuse)

11. FC Dallas – Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest)

12. San Jose Earthquakes – Paul Marie (FIU)

13. Sporting Kansas City – Eric Dick (Butler)

14. Atlanta United – Jon Gallagher (Notre Dame)

15. Minnesota United (from Chicago Fire) –  Wyatt Omsberg (Dartmouth)

16. New York Red Bulls –  Brian White (Duke)

17. Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Justin Fiddes (Washington)

18. Sporting Kansas City (from Portland Timbers) – Graham Smith (Denver)

19. New York City FC – Jeff Caldwell (Virginia)

20. Houston Dynamo – Michael Nelson (SMU) 

21. Columbus Crew SC – Ben Lundgaard (Virginia Tech)

22. Seattle Sounders FC – Alex Roldan (Seattle)

23. Minnesota United (from Toronto FC) – Carter Manley (Duke) 



24. Los Angeles FC – Pol Planellas (Pittsburgh)

25. Colorado Rapids (from LA Galaxy) – Alan Winn (North Carolina) 

26. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (from D.C. United) – Lucas Stauffer (Creighton)

27. Colorado Rapids – Frantzdy Pierrrot (Coastal Carolina)

28. Toronto FC (from Minnesota United FC) – Tim Kubel (Louisville)

29. FC Dallas (from Orlando City SC) – Mauro Cichero (SMU) 

30. San Jose Earthquakes (from Montreal Impact) – Danny Musovski (Nevada – Las Vegas)

31. New York Red Bulls (from Philadelphia Union) – Niko De Vera (Akron)

32. Columbus Crew SC (from New England Revolution) – Edward Opoku (Virginia)

33. Real Salt Lake – Ricky Lopez-Espin (Creighton)

34. FC Dallas – Chris Lema (Georgetown)

35. San Jose Earthquakes – Mohamed Thiaw (Louisville)

36. Atlanta United (from Sporting Kansas City) – Oliver Shannon (Clemson)

37. Atlanta United – Gordon Wild (Maryland)

38. Chicago Fire – Diego Campos (Clemson)

39. New York Red Bulls – Tom Barlow (Wisconsin) 

40. LA Galaxy (from Vancouver Whitecaps FC) – Drew Skundrich (Stanford)

41. Minnesota United FC (from Portland Timbers) – Xavier Gomez (Nebraska Omaha)

42. New York City FC – AJ Paterson (Wright State)

43. Houston Dynamo – Mac Steeves (Providence)

44. Columbus Crew SC – Jake Rozhansky (Maryland)

45. Seattle Sounders FC – Markus Fjortoft (Duke)

46. Toronto FC – Drew Shepherd (Western Michigan)




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