In a surprised move NYCFC traded $250,000 in allocation money for the third overall pick in the draft and drafted 19 year old Jonathan Lewis of the University of Akron.
Lewis is a 5’7″ attacking midfielder/forward who played in 22 games for Akron last year, scoring 2 goals and tallying 12 assists.
Lewis is a Generation Adidas player which means his salary will not count against the salary cap. Lewis joined Generation Adidas after his freshman year with University of Akron. The Florida native was a member of the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team camp called in preparation for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
The college freshman was part of Chicago Fire’s academy and was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year. He was ranked #13 on Top Drawer Soccer’s top 100 Freshman list.
By all accounts Lewis is an attacking threat, whether that’s in midfield or up front. NYCFC who are looking to replace the goals lost by the departure of Frank Lampard, surely believe Lewis will be part of the young core of players to be with this team for years to come.
NYCFC had to acquire the pick because they traded their first overall pick to Seattle in exchange for the rights to Kwadwo Poku. While some have been critical of the move, claiming $250k in allocation money was too high a price to pay for an unproven talent one has to keep in mind that NYCFC acquired $500k in allocation money solely from the sale of Kwadwo Poku to Miami FC.
This is the second consecutive year in which NYCFC has acquired Chicago’s draft pick.