2019 MLS Expansion Draft Results and Analysis

Abu Danladi MLS Expansion Draft results
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 29: Minnesota United FC forward Abu Danladi dribbles at midfield during the first half of a MLS game against Atlanta United on May 29, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.(Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY. – The 2019 MLS Expansion Draft is in the books. Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC each selected five players from other MLS teams. Lots of stuff went down and there sure is more to come. Let’s take a look at what happened with the MLS Expansion Draft results and what it means.

2019 MLS Expansion Draft Results and Analysis

Here’s how each round of the expansion draft went down:

Round 1
Miami: New York City FC defender Ben Sweat
Nashville: Minnesota United FC forward Abu Danladi

Round 2
Miami: FC Cincinnati defender Alvas Powell
Nashville: Portland Timbers FC defender Zarek Valentin

Round 3
Miami: Los Angeles FC midfielder Lee Nguyen
Nashville: New England Revolution defender Jalil Anibaba

Round 4
Miami: Columbus Crew SC midfielder Luis Argudo
Nashville: Atlanta United FC forward Brandon Vazquez

Round 5
Miami: Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith
Nashville: Sporting KC midfielder/defender Jimmy Medranda

Reactions and Analysis:

Both teams took good budget value players. Nashville leadership did make several moves after the draft. Valentin was sent to Houston Dynamo in exchange for goalkeeper Joe Willis. Vazquez was traded to Cincinnati for allocation money. Nashville also traded GAM/TAM and an International slot for 2020 for SKC goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.

Inter Miami acquired a first round SuperDraft pick from Cincinnati (3rd overall) for $150k in 2020 GAM.

None of the players that were ultimately acquired by the expansion teams took up a DP slot or targeted allocation money. Both sides emphasized defense, with goalkeeper and outside back being the target positions.

With the exception of Nguyen and Argudo, pretty much every player picked up was defensively minded. One could argue even those two played a few different roles in 2019 and weren’t exclusively attacking midfielders. Ultimately, both front offices went for value budget contracts and players to fill out their backlines.

This frees them up to spend their money in the attack. The MLS expansion teams of years past who’ve flopped in their first year could not defend to save their lives. Both teams have built at least half (possibly more) of their defensive core to prevent that next season.

Depending on a few other key moves (getting the DP signings right), Miami and Nashville have learned from the mistakes of expansion teams past.

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