As expected, D.C. United are hitting the offseason with the intention of revamping one of the league’s worst teams in the 2017 MLS season. Two trades, the expansion draft and a college prospect turning pro later; the offseason craziness has just begun.
The highlight so far has been that the black and red traded for central-defender Frederic Brillant and striker Darren Mattocks. These trades show the front office is ready to hit the ground running and make crucial moves to help D.C. turn a corner.
Brillant had spent most of his career in Belgium before making the move to the MLS. During his two seasons at NYCFC he scored two goals. United General Manager Dave Kasper wanted experience, and he got it.
“One of our top priorities this off-season was acquiring an experienced central defender,” Kasper said. “Frederic is a smart, athletic defender who is a very good passer. His size, speed and presence will strengthen our backline next season.”
On the same day that United acquired Brillant, they also announced the trade with the Portland Timbers for Jamaican striker Darren Mattocks.
The deal, according to D.C. United, is that in exchange for Mattocks Portland will receive a 2018 International slot.
Mattocks, now twenty-seven-years-old, started his MLS career with the Vancouver Whitecaps. He then was traded to the Portland Timbers, where he spent two seasons at before he landed at D.C. United.
Kasper believes while Mattocks didn’t score loads of goals, he provides an impact on games that the club has not seen in a long time.
“We haven’t had this kind of speed in our team in a long time,” Kasper told the Washington Post’s Steven Goff. “He stretches the other team’s defense. He draws penalty kicks. He is such a threat getting behind defenses.”
Kasper later noted, “We view him as a big piece.”
Mattocks has made thirty-nine appearances for the Jamaican National Team, scoring fourteen goals for the Reggae Boyz.
Expansion Draft Update
While notable players such as Steve Clark, Lloyd Sam , and Marcelo Sarvas were left unprotected for LAFC’s expansion draft, the new club neglected to select any United player. They also passed on the opportunity to obtain the rights to recently departed goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
We see lots of college basketball players announce them skipping a year(s) of college to go pro, but not as much in the college soccer world. This week, the University of Maryland’s Eryk Williamson announced he will be forgoing his senior year to start his professional career.
Williamson, who has been a part of D.C. United’s academy, will be deciding on if he wants to stay home and play for D.C. United or head overseas. United are preparing to offer him a homegrown contract.
While it is only the beginning and it seems D.C. are making plenty of moves, Kasper claimed the club is still searching for pieces to the puzzle.
“We will look to sign more attacking pieces,” Kasper told Goff. “We’re not just looking for one guy; we’re looking for several guys who can bolster the attack.”
Buckle up, United supporters. This offseason is set to be a good one.