LAFC selected forward Ricky Lopez-Espin in the 2018 MLS Waiver Draft on Tuesday. The club picked the former Real Salt Lake striker with its 15th pick in the draft, which includes players ineligible for free agency, out of contract or who chose not to exercise their 2019 options.
Lopez-Espin was selected No. 33 overall in the second round of the 2018 MLS by Real Salt Lake, but he only played once for the team in a 2-0 loss to Vancouver in April. He saw more time playing for the USL’s Real Monarchs, tallying two assists in the course of eight games. In his four-year college career at Creighton, Lopez-Espin notched 30 goals and seven assists over 74 caps.
The 23-year-old will join an already stacked set of strikers, including Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande. His age and experience is similar to that of a rookie’s, and the team will still need to ink a contract before he officially joins the roster. However, Lopez-Espin’s selection by the team shows a continued dedication by LAFC towards attacking early and often to establish dominance.
Former LAFC forward Marco Ureña was also selected in the Waiver Draft and will head northeast to join the Chicago Fire. During the club’s inaugural season, Ureña notched one goal and five assists in the black and gold uniform.