United’s long, dark winter

This post has been sitting around in my drafts for a couple of weeks now, but it hasn’t changed. The silly season is currently in fully effect for the teams with plenty of money, but the majority of the teams have gone silent. DC United is currently in a holding pattern, having not taken any players in either stages of the re-entry draft, having only added one player so far this offseason, and having just released eight players. However, the coaching staff has not been idle; various members of the front office and coaching staff have visited all of the continents except Australia and Antarctica (and given the last player to come from Australia, that’s a good thing). There has been some concern out there that doubts United’s ability to sign good players from overseas, and this is concern that is definitely warranted. Over the past two years, United has only gotten 86 appearances out of players who were signed from abroad, which averages just under 11 caps per player. Two players that were signed from abroad, Cristian Castillo and Rodrigo Brasesco, were cut before the season in which they were signed even ended. There is not much optimism that the front office will get it right in the future.

And yet, I am an eternal optimist. If I wasn’t, I would probably be crushed by roster issues, stadium issues, the team moving issues, etc. I do have faith, as Ben Olsen continues to put his stamp on this team, that the overseas signings will improve. There will also be a one or two signings from the Academy as well. And there will be a solid contributor from the draft as well. But training camps open in 15 days, and there have been no rumblings about possible DCU signings. Its time to start getting new players under contract and into this team.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the United Mania guys said that the team needs four new starting level players, in addition to squad players. They have currently acquired one of those: Robbie Russell. The team still needs another fullback, a creative attacking midfielder, and a target forward. Dave Kasper said in November that the team hoped to announce more signings in the coming weeks; hopefully those materialize in the next few days.

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