FC Cincinnati Selects Amaya and Four More Hopefuls in MLS SuperDraft

FC Cincinnati landed UCLA freshman and U.S. U-20 International Frankie Amaya with the #1 pick in Friday’s MLS SuperDraft. That pick was then followed by four more picks — one more in the first round at #13, and three more in the second round.

Amaya addressed the crowd following his selection and relayed some heartfelt words about his path to being drafted at the top spot.

I’m just a kid from Santa Ana, California, . . .I’ve worked hard my whole life, . . .I didn’t believe in talent, just hard work.”

The draft started with some near-drama that didn’t quite pan out. LAFC made a last-minute attempt to persuade FC Cincinnati to part with their #1 pick. They reportedly offered $200K in allocation money and an international spot for the pick. FCC’s technical staff countered the offer, looking for substantially more allocation money, and LAFC declined. Therefore, Amaya became FC Cincinnati’s first-ever draft selection.

Here’s a graphic of FC Cincinnati’s first and second round draft followed by the vital information and some personal quotes from the players selected.

Graphic: Connor Paquette

Player profiles (linked in names) and values below are via MLS.

Round 1 – Pick 1 – Frankie Amaya

Age: 18
Position: Midfielder* (Generation adidas member)
From: Santa Ana, CA
College: UCLA
Stats: 2 goals, 2 assists in 14 games played in 2018. Member of the US U-20 national team that won the CONCACAF Title. 2018 USC Second Team All-Far West Region. 2018 First Team All-PAC-12 Conference.

Amaya remained humble with his selection as the top draft pick for FCC. “I didn’t really have any idea (about becoming #1),” he mentioned. “I just wanted to become a professional soccer player. . . . I’m blessed that I got #1.” Amaya also mentioned that one of his major influences was Andrés Iniesta during his Barcelona years.

Round 1 – Pick 13 – Logan Gdula

Age: 22
Position: Defender
From: East Lyme, CT
College: Wake Forest University
Stat: 2 goals, 14 assists over 4 years with WFU. Helped anchor a back line that totaled 46 clean sheets all 4 years. Played USL PDL (now USL League 2) soccer with Carolina Dynamo.

Gdula was very emotional with his selection, thanking his mother for everything. “She just did everything for me and made sure that I became successful. She worked her hardest, never gave up on me, and never gave up on herself.” Gdula also admitted that he was a Ronaldo fan during his years at Manchester United.

Round 1 – Pick 16 – TRADED

Round 2 – Pick 25 – TRADED

Both the #16 and #25 picks were traded to New York Red Bulls for $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM).

Round 2 – Pick 29 Tommy McCabe

Age: 20
Position: Defensive Midfielder
From: South Orange, NJ
College: University of Notre Dame
Stat: 4 assists in 61 games over 3 years at Notre Dame. Third Team All-ACC in 2018. ACC All-Freshman Team in 2016.

McCabe noted his attachment to Arsenal and Thierry Henry, especially when he joined New York. “Living in New Jersey when he came to the Red Bulls, I would always go watch him play. I know we’re not the same type of player at all, but I loved watching him play.” He also admired Michael Bradley from the U.S. national team.

Round 2 – Pick 30 Jimmy Hague

Age: 22
Position: Goalkeeper
From: Walled Lake, MI
College: Michigan State University
Stat: Had 26 clean sheets in 62 games over 3 years for MSU. Selected as Second Team All-Big 10 in 2018. Was Big 10 Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017.

Hague noted that he seemed to enjoy the bond with GK coach Jack Stern at the combine. “I really liked (Jack), because he was really down-to-earth. It sounds like he’s going to push me my hardest.”

Round 2 – Pick 37 Ben Lundt

Age: 23
Position: Goalkeeper
From: Berlin, Germany (German citizenship)
College: University of Akron
Stat: Had 27 clean sheets in 64 games started for Akron over the past three years. Second Team All-MAC in 2018. Played for the U17 and U23 Hertha Berlin teams.

Lundt has yet to visit Cincinnati, but expressed his appreciation to be drafted and to stay within Ohio. He also listed both Oliver Kahn and Manuel Neuer as influences. “But I try really to do my own style and take a little bit from everyone,” he stated.

Third and Fourth Rounds

The draft isn’t over. The final two rounds will take place on Sunday, January 13 via conference call at 2 pm Eastern Time. FC Cincinnati has three more picks remaining in the third and fourth rounds. They will make selections at the #49, #61, and #85 spots.

NOTE: The day and time was later changed to Monday, January 14th at 1pm Eastern Time.

Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati and the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

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