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Danladi, Sweat headline 2019 MLS Expansion Draft selections

Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC both took major steps to life in MLS on Tuesday after making five selections each in the 2019 Expansion Draft.

Ben Sweat, Abu Danladi, and Alvas Powell headlined the 10 total selections made by the two expansion sides.

Sweat was the No. 1 overall selection in the draft by Inter Miami. Born in Palm Harbor, Fla., Sweat has made 72 MLS appearances with NYCFC since joining the club in 2017. During his time with NYCFC, the left back has scored one goal and registered nine assists.

Nashville SC followed up Miami’s selection with Minnesota United forward Abu Danladi. Danladi holds a green card so he will not occupy an international roster spot for Nashville. The 24-year-old has scored 11 goals and registered six assists in 67 career league appearances.

Inter Miami continued its selections with right back Alvas Powell to help complete the backline. The 25-year-old Jamaican national team defender made 13 appearances with FC Cincinnati after joining the 2018 expansion side in last year’s Expansion Draft.

Nashville SC added Portland Timbers defender Zarek Valentin with their No. 2 pick, but proceeded to package him in a trade along with allocation money in a deal with the Houston Dynamo for goalkeeper Joe Willis.

Lee Nguyen was Inter Miami’s third selection after coming over from defending Supporters’ Shield winners LAFC. The 33-year-old adds versatility to Miami’s midfield as well as veteran experience to what is a young bunch of players so far.

Nashville added its first MLS experienced center back with the acquisition of Jalil Anibaba. The 30-year-old scored one goal and added one assist in 53 league appearances with the New England Revolution over the last two seasons.

Inter Miami continued to add versatility after selecting Luis Argudo with their fourth selection. Argudo, 23, made 10 starts for the Columbus Crew in 2019, scoring one goal and registering three assists. He is a young talent who should help fit in with Miami’s attacking plans.

Nashville SC selected Atlanta United striker Brandon Vazquez, who it then traded to FC Cincinnati for allocation money.

Bryan Meredith was the lone goalkeeper selected in the MLS Expansion Draft, heading to Inter Miami with its final pick. Despite only starting 10 matches for the Seattle Sounders since 2012, Meredith comes from a winning atmosphere in Seattle and is the Miami’s lone goalkeeper on the roster so far.

Jimmy Medranda was Nashville SC’s final selection of the draft, coming over from Sporting KC. After breaking onto the scene in MLS in 2016, Medranda has struggled for consistent playing time for SKC. He made only 10 appearances for Peter Vermes’ side in 2019, but brings versatility.

Here’s a list of the 10 selections:

Inter Miami

Ben Sweat
Alvas Powell
Lee Nguyen
Luis Argudo
Bryan Meredith

Nashville SC

Abu Danladi
Zarek Valentin
Jalil Anibaba
Brandon Vazquez
Jimmy Medranda

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