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Ismael Tajouri-Shradi selected in MLS Expansion Draft, traded to LAFC

Attacking midfielder Ismael Tajouri-Shradi leaving after four seasons at NYCFC

New York City FC Vs Real Salt Lake
Auf wiedersehen, Ismael.
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Attacking midfielder Ismael Tajouri-Shradi is leaving New York City FC. Charlotte Football Club selected Tajouri-Shradi in the 2021 MLS Expansion draft, then promptly traded him to Los Angeles Football Club for $400,000 in General Allocation Money.

The 27-year-old Libyan international was born in Bern, Switzerland, and played in the Austrian Football Bundesliga before signing with NYCFC in 2018. This year, Tajouri-Shradi started 14 games and scored seven goals for NYCFC in the regular season. He also played an important role in the MLS Cup-winning postseason, converting his penalty kick against the New England Revolution in the shootout that decided the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Tajouri-Shradi scored 26 goals in four seasons for NYCFC. He started 49 games, but he was also a goal-scoring threat off the bench, an energetic and menacing attacker who could rattle defenders with his pace.

He was one of the three super subs who energized NYCFC in the Eastern Conference Final as City against the Philadelphia Union. In the 64th minute, Tajouri-Shradi’s deflected shot landed at the feet of Maxi Moralez, who buried his shot to tie the game—Tajouri-Shradi was credited with the assist. NYCFC went on to defeat the Union and advance to the MLS Cup Final against the Portland Timbers.

Earlier today, Tajouri-Shradi took part in a ceremony at New York City Hall celebrating NYCFC winning the MLS Cup, and was given a Key to the City.

Other players NYCFC left unprotected in the draft, including Malte Amundsen, Maxi Moralez, Gudmundur Thórarinsson, and Anton Tinnerholm, will remain with the team.

The Expansion Daft is an unusual feature of MLS. While expansion drafts are common in United States sports, isn't a feature of most professional soccer leagues. Elsewhere, fully-functioning clubs are promoted or relegated with their rosters intact, and new teams teams aren't allowed to take players from established squads.