One by One, We Build Our Team

Thank you to our 3252 crew for coming out to the LAFC Experience Center to kick off the MLS Expansion Draft.

Today, we took over the MLS network and stole the conversation with our first five picks, adding more young-blooded talent to our roster.

Head Coach Bob Bradley and GM and EVP of soccer operations John Thorrington were center stage to announce and support all five picks, with our very own Gil Torres announcing LAFC’s third pick.

Bradley kicked off the 87-degree morning with a note about our most recent signing: Walker Zimmerman. The FC Dallas and U.S. Men’s National team’s premier defender is coming to LA in exchange for $500,000 in allocation funds and the No. 1 allocation slot for the 2018 MLS SuperDraft in January.

“Walker is a talented young defender – I like the way he plays,” Bradley said. “He’s not afraid to step up and make plays. When you build a team, guys that play centrally in the defense make a big difference.”

Zimmerman will join Egyptian defender Omar Gaber and the club’s first designated player, Mexican forward Carlos Vela.

Together, we stand in support of a team and coach that will dominate MLS in 2018.

And with the final statement, Thorrington brought it all home: “With that last pick, the free agency window just opened.”

Let’s build our team.

UPDATE: LAFC’s No. 4 and No. 5 picks were traded for top defender Laurent Ciman from Montreal Impact shortly after the draft’s close.

LAFC 2017 Expansion Draft picks

Here’s what our leaders had to say.

No. 1: (G) Tyler Miller, Seattle Sounders FC

Thorrington: “Tyler is a player I have known since our days at Northwestern University – a goalkeeper I have liked since those college days. He will be able to contribute from Day 1 for us. In the most recent playoff game, we saw affirmation of our thoughts on Tyler and we’re really excited to have him.”

No. 2: (F) Latif Blessing, Sporting Kansas City

Bradley: “Latif showed this year that he’s dynamic and scores some good goals. He’s a really talented young player that we’re ready to work with.”

No. 3: (F) Marco Ureña, San Jose Earthquakes

Thorrington: “In terms of what we see in Ureña, we need to look no further than his performances for the Costa Rican National team – unfortunately against us for the U.S. We know his work rate, his ethic, his character. We’re very excited to welcome him to LAFC – we know he’ll make our fans proud.”

No. 4: (D) Jukka Raitala, Columbus Crew SC

Bradley: “In a part of the field where it’s not always easy to find experienced, solid players, I think Jukka provides that.”

No. 5: (D) Raheem Edwards, Toronto FC

Thorrington: “A lot of work went into making sure we were prepared to come out of this draft with the best value and the best players we could. I feel very good about the players we’ve acquired with these five picks.”

[Join The Movement] Be sure to RSVP for our LAFC Holiday Open House on Saturday, where you can become a member of The 3252.

- By Lindsay Ivins