There was a lot of excitement surrounding Joao Moutinho going into the 2018 MLS Draft, and even more when he was selected first overall by LAFC. Some first round draft picks thrive under the pressure, while others unfortunately crumble, and Moutinho has certainly done the former through the first few weeks of his professional career.
Joao Moutinho has started all three games that LAFC have played this season, and has played 263 of a possible 270 minutes of game time. His defensive efforts have made him a standout rookie this season, earning the fullback honors as SBI MLS Rookie of the Month.
The rookie has been key at left back, helping LAFC achieve a goal differential of four while only having played on the road this season. LAFC opened their season with a 1-0 win against Western Conference front-runners Seattle Sounders, and followed it up with a 5-1 thrashing of Real Salt Lake. Their most recent game was a tough one, and one for the history books, as LAFC dropped a 3-0 lead in the 60th minute to lose 4-3 to their rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Akron product has made his mark on MLS so far, starting in defense for one of the most exciting teams in the league. Time will tell if Bob Bradley continues to put faith in the young fullback, but for now he seems bent on impressing this season.
Moutinho beat out Cam Lindley, Ken Krolicky, Mason Toye and Handwalla Bwana for March honors.
Will Moutinho be able to help LAFC reach the playoffs in their expansion year? Which rookie impressed you in March?
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