MLS SuperDraft 2019: LAFC Review

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 19: Los Angeles FC head coach Bob Bradley (right) with assistant coach Mike Sorber (left) during the MLS SuperDraft 2018 on January 19, 2018, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (January 15, 2019) –¬†With the first two rounds taking place live this past Friday, the 2019 MLS SuperDraft concluded with rounds three and four taking place via conference call Monday.¬†LAFC finished their drafts with picks 64 and 73 overall. There was a definite theme for the second year club as midfield was the priority, using all three picks on the position.

LAFC ADD DEPTH TO ALREADY TALENTED MIDFIELD with Peter-Lee Vassell

PETER-LEE VASSELL, M – JAMAICA

The first player selected for LAFC in the 2019 SuperDraft was the 19-year-old Jamaican National, selected with the 40th pick overall. Not many players in the second round boast the type of resume and experience at such a young age as Peter-Lee Vassell.

Having played the last two years for Harbour View FC, in the top division of the Jamaican League, he netted three goals on 34 appearances. Vassell also holds international experience with caps at U-17, U-20, U-23 levels, as well as making eight appearances with five goals for the senior team of the Jamaican National team in 2018.

The two things that jump out with Vassell are his pace, and his incredible passing. His ability to execute pinpoint passes from anywhere, to anyone on the pitch will already be amongst the best in the LAFC squad. When used as a striker in a two-up-front system with Jamaica, he flashes his pace and ability to drift into wide open space in and around the box.

If there is one negative on Peter-Lee it would have to be his possession. A bit too often he would lose possession in the middle of the pitch, a sore spot for LAFC in 2018. His confidence on the ball, the ability to defend from the midfield as well as his passing should see Vassell get minutes early with Los Angeles. Expect to see him in U.S. Open Cup matches.

Vassell joins LAFC on loan in 2019, with reports of a purchase deal already agreed. He will also take up an International spot in the club.

JAVI PEREZ, M – PITTSBURGH UNIVERSITY

With pick 64, the Los Angeles Football Club continued to add to their midfield with Javi Perez. Of the three picks in this draft Perez is the most defensive. Not the type of player who will blow past you with pace, or flash fancy footwork, he is technically sound. Making 19 appearances with four goals and three assists in 2018 for Pitt, Perez is more the set-up man playing from the back.

Excellent through ball passing, as well as a physical build that helps with aerial battles, he plays larger than his 5’9″ listed height. Another player who is an International, the likelihood of Perez making the final roster and taking up one of those slots is slim.

KEVIN MENDOZA, M – LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

The 73rd, and final pick, for LAFC kept with the theme of the day as midfielder, Kevin Mendoza was selected. With a highlight tape already circulating amongst supporters, Mendoza comes in with some buzz around him. Although impressive, tape aside, Mendoza is the No. 10 of the draft class.

Playing right in the middle, his ability to create while on the ball, as well as get past defenders is his best attribute. A great finisher in the final third, Mendoza netted 32 goals in 49 appearances over his four years at Liberty.

Unfortunately for LAFC fans, time to wipe the drool from your face. Mendoza, like Perez would take up an International spot should he make the roster, and with Peter-Lee Vassell being the draftee with the inside track, Mendoza may not make it in the end. If LAFC do end up with two of the three picks, expect it to be Vassell and Perez, though time will tell.

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