The LA Galaxy and their new technical staff successfully navigated the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft, on Friday at McCormick Place in Chicago, Il.

Midfielder Emil Cuello (no. 19) and forward Don Tchilao (no. 36) will now get a chance with the five-time MLS Cup Champions, as they move away from college and make their first attempts at professional soccer.

But the first move for the Galaxy was probably their smartest.

Holding six picks through all four rounds of the draft, the Galaxy were able to move from the no. 12 pick to the no. 19 pick by way of a trade with New York City FC. NYCFC moved up so they could select goalkeeper Lusi Barraza while the Galaxy, moving back eight draft positions, collected $75,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and NYCFC’s original draft position.

And with projections still putting the Galaxy in a cash-strapped position for the 2019 season (with regards to the salary cap), the extras GAM will go a long way in allowing some breathing room or the ability to capture more talent for the club.

Cuello, a 22-year old central midfielder just completed a four-year career at Southern Methodist Universtiy. In that career, he played in 72 games, recording 12 goal and 17 assists.

He was recognized as the American Athletic Conference Tournament’s Most Valuable Player and as First Team All-American Athletic Conference his senior season and was awarded the AAC All-Rookie Team his freshman year, and the AAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player his junior year.

“His technical ability stands out a lot,” said Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese about Cuello. “He is really liked by our coaching staff and we took advantage of both the trade and the player we had on our list was a good first step.”

Cuello was a playmaker with SMU and showed a real ability to distribute and score goals. And if the coverage of the draft is to be believed, Cuello, who was born in Argentina, is a huge Boca Juniors fan and will now be teamed up with Guillermo Barros Schelotto and his impressive Boca pedigree as both a player and a coach.

Tchilao, also 22-years-old, was drafted by the Galaxy in the second round. He’s listed as a forward and played in the PAC-12 with Oregon State.

He recorded 15 goals and 13 assists in 71 total appearances for the Beavers and was named to Second Team All-PAC-12 in 2017 and First Team ALL-PAC-12 in 2019.

Originally from Benin, Africa (a neighbor of Togo and Oyo on the West Coast), Tchilao was raised in Chandler, Arizona and could potentially take up an International slot.

With the MLS SuperDraft, the players are not guaranteed to end up with the club. But what it does gaurantee is that those teams hold the MLS rights to the player for the next two years (or through December of 2020).

With the Galaxy starting preseason training on January 20th at Dignity Health Sports Park, both players are likely to be invited to train with the senior team during the preseason period. Depending on the results, the Galaxy can either offer them contracts for the senior team or ensure a landing spot at LA Galaxy II – the club’s USL side.

The remaining rounds of the draft will be completed on Monday, January 14 via conference call. The Galaxy are scheduled to pick four more times with three picks in the third round and one pick in the fourth round.

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