Ben Olsen’s coy comments about American strikers have come true, as D.C. United has used their position on top of the allocation order to, pending an extended physical, sign Charlie Davies to a year long loan. On the surface, this is a great move for D.C. United, as it takes a player that has almost universal support in the US soccer community and puts him on a team that sorely needs that kind of goodwill. And if Charlie can get anywhere near his previous form, it should provide United with the goal scoring punch it so badly missed last season.
MLS rules require an option to purchase in any loan deal, but I would guess that Sochaux would make that so high as to make it just a token offer. I have heard that some people are surprised that its a year long loan; it makes sense for Sochaux too, allowing them to sign their own loan player for the first half of next season and get Charlie back as he (hopefully) is back to the level he was before the accident.
But what does this mean for D.C. United’s roster? Assuming Davies is healthy, I would imagine he would be a lock for a starting striker spot (if he’s not, then we’re in the same place we were last week). I think his strike partner, as of right now, could very well be Josh Wolff. Wolff’s game has evolved into more of a second striker, who puts himself in good positions to link up with the other striker and to bang home loose balls in the box, without having the pressure of being the primary goalscorer. This is the role that Chris Pontius needs to grow into if he wants a place on this team and I think Wolff can be the mentor to get him there. They are similar players and Wolff was brought in to be a stopgap and a teacher, not a long term solution. Pontius may pass Wolff for this position during training camp, during the middle of the season, or for the beginning of next season, but this his position; now he just needs to prove he can fill it.
With that said, what would the roster look like?
Brasesco James Jakovic Zayner
Najar McCarty Boskovic Quaranta
Amid all of this, the odd man out is still Clyde Simms. D.C. United is going to play a more attacking brand of soccer this coming season and, even though I theorized about it in my previous post, I don’t see United playing with two holding midfielders. Also, by drafting Perry Kitchen, Simms’ days on the team are already numbered. Simms has been a warrior for the club and, if he is not a part of the plan going forward, I would like to see United trade him to a place where he can play, as a thank you for his years of hard work.