Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Major League Soccer expansion franchises Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC made their selections in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday night.
Both clubs picked five players each from a draft pool of 222 players left unprotected by their current MLS teams. The other 19 returning MLS franchises were allowed to protect 12 players between the senior, supplemental and reserve roster.
Inter Miami selected New York City FC outside back Ben Sweat, a Florida native, with its first selection in the draft. Sweat, a first-round draft choice by the Columbus Crew in 2014, has spent three seasons in New York, appearing in 18 games (13 starts) this past season.
Inter Miami continued its defensive-minded approach and chose FC Cincinnati defender Alvas Powell with its second pick. With its next three selections, the club picked Los Angeles FC midfielder Lee Nguyen, Columbus midfielder Luis Argudo and Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
"We're excited about what we were able to accomplish with this draft," Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough said in a statement. "We feel we are gaining momentum ahead of the 2020 season."
With its first pick, Nashville SC added Minnesota United forward Abu Danladi, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. He played in 24 games (four starts) this past season and had a pair of goals.
Nashville also selected Portland Timbers outside back Zarek Valentin, New England Revolution defender Jalil Anibaba, Atlanta United forward Brandon Vazquez and Sporting Kansas City defender Jimmy Medranda.
After the draft, Nashville announced it made a flurry of trades. The club sent Valentin to the Houston Dynamo for goalkeeper Joe Willis. Houston will also receive an additional $75,000 in 2021 Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) if Willis meets certain performance-based incentives.
Nashville then shipped Vazquez to FC Cincinnati for allocation money, and acquired Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas in exchange for allocation money and a 2020 international roster spot. The club also added U.S. Men's National Team defender Daniel Lovitz from the Montreal Impact for allocation money and an international roster spot.
Inter Miami's only trade of the day saw them acquire the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft from FC Cincinnati in exchange for $150,000 in 2020 allocation money.