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LAFC selects Peter-Lee Vassell in Super Draft, says bye to Benny Feilhaber

Friday was a major day of change for rosters across Major League Soccer. The 2019 MLS SuperDraft ushered new talent into clubs, including Los Angeles FC.

LAFC initially held the No. 16 overall pick, but traded that selection to FC Cincinnati for picks No. 40, 64 and 73. The first two rounds concluded Friday, with LAFC taking Peter-Lee Vassell with that 16th second-round pick.

Vassell reflects LAFC focus on young talent

The 19-year-old midfielder might come across as a risk to some fans. Vassell never played American college soccer, but he stood out last year in Harbor View FC, a club in Jamaica’s foremost division of league play. After winning the MVP honor for the MLS Caribbean Combine, Vassell earned an invitation to the 2019 MLS Combine.

Despite his youth, Vassell is not lacking in international experience, playing for the Jamaican U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams and earning eight caps with the senior team. He most recently notched a goal in the senior squad’s 6-0 victory in the CONCACAF Nations League qualifier last October.

Vassell’s selection reflects the continued effort by LAFC to acquire and develop young talent before other teams are able to spot it. This paid off massively in the team’s inaugural season, with multiple starters earning nods in the MLS 25-under-25 distinctions.

Feilhaber to Colorado

As a free agent, Benny Feilhaber was an uncertainty for LAFC heading into the 2019 season. The midfielder announced Friday he signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Rapids.

Feilhaber played in all 34 games of the team’s inaugural season, notching 32 starts and recording three goals and six assists with the team. With five years of Sporting Kansas City and United States national team experience under his belt, Feilhaber was a vital leader for the young team, and the club recognized his contribution when he officially departed Los Angeles on Friday.

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