MULTIPLE OFFERS FOR FIRST PICK IN FRIDAY’S SUPERDRAFT
LAFC have received multiple offers for the first overall pick in Friday’s SuperDraft, club GM John Thorrington told MLSsoccer.com.
Thorrington didn’t divulge which teams have made offers for the No. 1 pick, but did state that LAFC are open to moving the selection for the right price. Kevin Kinkead reported previously that Philadelphia Union are interested in trading Targeted and General Allocation Money to move into the top-three of the draft.
“I guess what I would say is we haven’t traded it, so that says a lot. People use the term untouchable and off limits and all the rest of it, but the reality is there is no such thing in our world,” Thorrington stated. “So it just depends. And we are absolutely comfortable that if we make that pick we’ll be ecstatic with it, and therefore it would need to be something better than that to tempt us to trade it.”
Thorrington said that if LAFC keep the pick, they’ll wait until after the Combine closes on Wednesday to determine who they’ll select. Potential options at No. 1 include versatile Akron defender Joao Moutinho, Stanford centre-back Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Michigan winger Francis Atuahene.
LAFC’s squad for their first season in MLS currently stands at 11 players, although ideally they would look for 20-25 players in place for the start of preseason on 22nd January, with 15-18 on full contracts. The remainder will be made up by trialists and unsigned draft picks.
Likely additions include veteran right back Steven Beitashour, who has reportedly agreed to a free agent deal with LAFC after two years with Toronto FC, not to mention in midfield, where LAFC currently only have Benny Feilhaber and Omar Gaber.
“Midfield’s the obvious spot, and therefore the majority of those bigger conversations that are going on are about filling the needs like that,” said Thorrington. “I think if you look at what we have done so far, the building blocks are there but not every piece is put into the puzzle yet, and that is certainly an area we’re looking to add.”
ORLANDO CONTINUE SHOPPING SPREE IN BELGRADE
Mozzart Sport have reported that the Lions have made an offer for Serbian defender Nemanja R. Miletic. The imposing centre-back, 26, has spent most of his career in Serbia, although he did have a stint in Belgium with Westerlo from 2016-17.
Partizan are said to be reluctant to part with Miletic, as he is seen as a vital member of the lineup for the defending Serbian Champions. The report claims Partizan are even more reluctant to sell Miletic because Orlando City already signed one of their players, Mohamed El-Munir, on a free transfer this offseason.
LIONS ALSO LOOK CLOSER TO HOME
Orlando City have completed the acquisition of Paraguayan attacking midfielder Josue Colman. The 19-year-old joins the Lions from Club Cerro Porteño of Paraguay’s Primera División, where he orchestrated the attack that won the 2017 Torneo Clausura championship and competed in the Copa Sudamericana the past two years. He has signed a five-year deal with Orlando, including club option years, and will be added to their roster as a Young Designated Player pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
“We are pleased to welcome such an exciting young prospect to our roster,” Orlando general manager Niki Budalic said in a club statement. “Josue has great pace and can create chances for himself and others. His skill set and profile give us confidence he will be a great fit in Orlando and MLS for years to come.”
A native of Asuncion, Colman is a Paraguayan youth international with 16 appearances for his country’s U-17 and U-20 national teams, most recently making two starts at the 2017 South American U-20 Football Championship. He also scored one goal in three appearances at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
MERAM TO TIMBER?
Portland Timbers have made an offer to acquire Justin Meram from Columbus Crew. It was reported earlier this month that Meram asked Columbus for a trade this offseason after recording 13 goals and seven assists in 2017, he also scored five goals and provided 13 assists in 2016.
While Meram wants out of Ohio, the Crew are committed to getting a large package of allocation money in return for him. The Iraq international has multiple years remaining on the contract he signed with Columbus last March; Columbus used Targeted Allocation Money to buy down his budget charge last season.
Portland have resources after dealing Darlington Nagbe to Atlanta for $1,050,000 in guaranteed allocation money in December, a trade that could eventually reap the club as much as $1.65 million in allocation funds depending on performance-based incentives.
Any Other Business…
New media reports have linked Montreal Impact to two potential signings from Europe, Olympique Marseille veteran Rod Fanni and Canadian international Michael Petrasso… Colombian Juan Quintero, a prime target of the Chicago Fire last summer, is finally set to move to Major League Soccer but Porto have placed a €10 million ($12.3 million) valuation on the playmaker… Argentina’s CA Colon are eyeing DC United striker Gonzalo Veron.