2019 Expansion Draft comes and goes; Union untouched

Much like the previous Major League Soccer Expansion Drafts, Philadelphia Union escaped unscathed as Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC each made their five choices.

Miss the picks? Check out the selections below:


Inter Miami CF

1. Ben Sweat

Left back — Age: 28 — Drafted from NYCFC

Sweat went from cast-off Columbus draft pick to starting left back for one of the best teams in MLS. He first emerged under Patrick Vieira at NYCFC and he continued to be a reliable option for the No. 1 team in the East in 2019. A left back with strong pace and stamina, Sweat earned his first USMNT call-up last October. He can also play at left center back in a pinch.

2. Alvas Powell

Right back — Age: 25 — Drafted from FC Cincinnati

Inter Miami fill out their other fullback spot with the Jamaican national team right back, who didn't enjoy his best season with expansion side FC Cincinnati in 2019. On his best days, opponents struggle to contain Powell's forays into the attacking third, which remains his standout quality.

3. Lee Nguyen

Midfielder — Age: 33 — Drafted from LAFC

A talented playmaker who made a difference off the bench for the Supporters' Shield winners in 2019. He was an MVP candidate with the New England Revolution and he can still be a difference-maker with his dribbling and vision.  

4. Luis Argudo

Midfielder — Age: 23 — Drafted from Columbus Crew

Skillful, versatile midfielder who has shown he can play in several positions in his two seasons with the Columbus Crew after being selected No. 67 overall in the 2018 SuperDraft from Wake Forest.

5. Bryan Meredith

Goalkeeper — Age: 30 — Drafted from Seattle Sounders

Meredith has been a reserve goalkeeper since joining the league in 2011 and was a backup for starter Stefan Frei in the Sounders' MLS Cup championship run in 2019.


Nashville SC

1. Abu Danladi

Forward — Age: 24 — Drafted from Minnesota United

A dynamic, exciting forward who in three seasons with Minnesota has shown the flashes of talent that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2017 SuperDraft. Due to injury and competition at the forward spot, he made only 24 starts in three seasons for the Loons (11 goals and 6 assists) and the Ghanaian will be looking forward to a fresh start. 

2. Zarek Valentin*

Right back / left back — Age: 28 — Drafted from Portland Timbers

A versatile fullback who brings speed, grit and experience to the position. He has played at both left back and right back in four seasons with the Timbers. 

*Nashville traded Valentin to the Houston Dynamo, along with $75k in 2021 Targeted Allocation Money in exchange for veteran goalkeeper Joe Willis.

3. Jalil Anibaba

Center back / right back — Age: 31 — Drafted from New England Revolution

Veteran and versatile defender who has the pace to keep up with the top forwards in MLS. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Anibaba will play valuable minutes and bring experience to the Nashville locker room.

4. Brandon Vazquez*

Forward — Age: 21 — Drafted from Atlanta United

A US youth national teamer with a unique combination of speed, size and power, Vazquez was a reserve forward for Atlanta United who found it tough to break through ahead of star striker Josef Martinez.  

* Nashville traded Vazquez to FC Cincinnati in exchange for allocation money: $150k in 2020 Targeted Allocation Money and $50k in 2021 General Allocation Money.

5. Jimmy Medranda

Left back / midfielder — Age: 25 — Drafted from Sporting Kansas City

Called a Swiss army knife by Nashville GM Mike Jacobs, the talented Colombian has shown with Sporting Kansas City that he can play left back, left midfielder and central midfield. When injury-free and in top form, he has the speed, skill and power to be a starting-caliber player in MLS. 

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