You might think that Joao Moutinho, Los Angeles FC’s historic first pick in the MLS draft, would name Portuguese countryman Cristiano Ronaldo as his childhood hero.
But speaking to reporters immediately after being selected, Moutinho said he started learning English through his love of American wrestling, with John Cena being his favorite wrestler as a kid.
Moutinho scored three goals and added five assists in 24 games during his only season at Akron and was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year.
The 20-year-old was a Sporting Lisbon youth player in his native Portugal, before coming to the United States and playing at the NCAA powerhouse for the 2017 season.
Although he played as a centre back for Akron, he is expected to be groomed as a left back or defensive midfielder for the expansion team.
Los Angeles FC also traded for the No. 3 spot in the draft to take Pacific fullback Tristan Blackmon.