LAFC add players through expansion draft and trade

Marco Urena
San Jose Earthquakes forward Marco Urena, center, celebrates his goal against Real Salt Lake during the second half on June 24. LAFC chose Urena in the MLS expansion draft on Tuesday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

As quickly as it started, it was over. And with it months of preparation came to a quick conclusion as Los Angeles Football Club made five picks in Tuesday’s MLS expansion draft.

“I think people were expecting the work started in the last 48 hours,” general manager John Thorrington said. “I describe it as the work started last January of 2016 as we prepared for this day.”

The franchise, participating in a rite of passage for MLS expansion teams, selected from a list of more than 300 unprotected players.

LAFC’s first pick was Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Tyler Miller, a 24-year-old who has played in only two league games but is considered a good option to build depth at the position and most likely will be a backup.


Latif Blessing, the second selection announced by coach Bob Bradley, is a 20-year-old attacking player from Sporting KC, for which he made 25 appearances and scored three goals last season.

The third pick was San Jose’s Marco Urena, a 27-year-old Costa Rican international who played in 25 games in 2017 and finished with five goals and three assists.

His international experience with the Costa Rican national team, on which he has made 58 appearances, scored 14 goals and helped it qualify for next year’s World Cup, is considered a bonus for a team still taking shape.

The final two selections were Jukka Raitala, an outside back from the Columbus Crew, and Raheem Edwards, a defender and midfielder from MLS Cup champion Toronto FC.


Moments after the fifth and last selection, club officials announced that they had acquired Laurent Ciman from the Montreal Impact in exchange for Raitala and Edwards.

But there is no rest in store for LAFC, which is busy gearing up to continue filling its roster in preparation for the 2018 season.

“The window just opened,” Thorrington said. “We’re going to be active in discussions there.”

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