Real Salt Lake had the 10th and 33rd overall picks in the 2018 MLS Superdraft on day 1, here is how it unfolded:
With the 10th pick Real Salt Lake decided to trade it to the Chicago Fire in exchange for $85K in General Allocation Money. Mike Petke was interviewed shortly after and explained why – “We feel as though we got our number one and number two pick already, you know, Aaron Herrera who we got from our home grown is a top three pick in this draft this year. Corey Baird is a first-round draft pick so we were looking for one or two players that if they had of fell through to our position we would have taken but they were drafted already so for us it’s getting a little more money in General Allocation Money and we are very happy with Corey Baird and Aaron Herrera.”
A different story unfolded at pick number 33 for RSL however, they selected Ricky Lopez-Espin, a talented midfielder/forward out of Creighton University. Lopez-Espin was the 2017 Big East Player of the Year for Creighton, he slotted 12 goals and added 3 assists to his stat sheet.
Lopez-Espin played center forward at Creighton, however, during the MLS Combine, he was asked to showcase his ability in the midfield. He also scored two goals after coming off the bench in the second half during his first match at the combine.
Many mock drafts had Lopez-Espin as a top 10 pick, it seems Real Salt Lake got themselves a steal at pick number 33.
Here are some of his highlights from Creighton University:
— Stellar Group (@Stellar_Soccer) January 19, 2018