LAFC adds Blessing, Edwards and Urena in MLS expansion draft

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The new Major League Soccer franchise continued to take shape Tuesday as it added five players to its roster ahead of its debut season

The roster for the debut season of Los Angeles FC continued to come together Tuesday as the team made its selections in the MLS expansion draft, with goalkeeper Tyler Miller the first player chosen and Costa Rica international Marco Urena among the picks.

LAFC, which will be coached in its debut season by former U.S. national team head coach and Swansea manager Bob Bradley, was able to select players who were left unprotected by the existing 20 MLS teams. Clubs were allowed to protect 11 players, with those on Generation Adidas and off-budget homegrown players exempt from the draft.

LAFC was only allowed to select one player per club in the five-round draft.

Miller, formerly of the Seattle Sounders, was the first selection in the draft, having played three games in his MLS career, with one coming in the 2017 postseason. 

Latif Blessing, the 20-year-old Ghanian attacker, was selected second from Sporting Kansas City. He scored three goals and added an assist in 25 games in his debut season in the league.

Attacker Marco Urena, who scored a pair of goals for Costa Rica against the U.S. in their crucial World Cup qualifier in September, was selected third from the San Jose Earthquakes. The 27-year-old scored five goals and added three assists for the Earthquakes this season. 

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Fullback Jukka Raitala was the fourth selection from the Columbus Crew. The 29-year-old Finland international played 28 games for the Crew in his first season in MLS, adding two assists. He also played in two of Columbus' playoff games this season, starting one. 

MLS champion Toronto FC lost Raheem Edwards with the final pick of the expansion draft. The Ontario native had one goal and six assists in 21 games for TFC this season.

LAFC made its first signing earlier this fall when it landed Mexico international Carlos Vela from Real Sociedad. Egypt international Omar Gaber has also signed on to become the team's second player, with the right back being joined in defense by Walker Zimmerman, who was acquired in a trade with FC Dallas on Sunday. 

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