The season hasn’t gone as planned for the Black-and-Red, they’re at the bottom of the tables and are in a position which they have to get results every time out if they wish to make a run at the postseason. D.C. United hasn’t been the most active in the transfer window in the last couple of season and when they were, seldom was it for young players with upside. They mostly landed veterans, that worked last year in acquiring Patrick Nyarko and Lloyd Sam. This year, has been a struggle from injuries, to the same group of players maybe not “fitting” quite as well as last year.
So what did the Black-and-Red do?
They went out and acquired players that would not only help them for the remainder of this season, but beyond. With Audi Field opening next year, many supporters and pundits figured that D.C. United wouldn’t be acquiring top talent until then when the revenue from the stadium kicked in. Instead, they aggressively pursued players in areas of the roster that were needed. It’s clear that both Luciano Acosta and Ian Harkes are going to be together in the midfield going forward, the diminutive Argentine has a ton of talent and the ability to make plays for others. At times many have wondered how things would look for him with players that provided a bit more danger on the wings and may be able to see the game similar to the way he sees it. At times when attacking, it feels like D.C. United has pairings that play the game different ways and that hinders them at times. These additions may help the attack flow better as their experience overseas could help them see the game the way Lucho does, or at least closer to it.
Outside of addressing the wings, the Black-and-Red haven’t really found anyone at that central defensive midfield spot since Perry Kitchen left. There’s been several players that have played that role and have had some success, but none that have really owned it. So that was addressed in this window as well.
While adding players is great, it typically means a couple of players will be departing said team. So Bobby Boswell was sent to Atlanta United FC for a 2019 third round pick, Lamar Neagle went back to Seattle for a 2018 fourth round pick. Boswell made a great impact to the organization during his tenure here and both he and Neagle will be missed as several of their now former teammates expressed after the deals were made.
That being said, D.C. United added four players that should help solidify their midfield in the coming years.
They acquired 19-year old Bruno Miranda on loan from Club Universidad de Chile through 2018 with an option for a permanent transfer. Olsen said that they looked forward to developing the youngster and he should get some time in Richmond this season, but he is listed to the first team roster. They hope that he continues the tradition of Bolivian players to don the Black-and-Red and make great contributions during his career here.
Then it was Zoltán Stieber from 1. FC Kaiserslautern. He has the versatility to play several positions in midfield and up top if needed, Steiber has spent much of his time out wide at left wing. The 28-year old brings youth and experience to the position, playing in the German Bundesliga and with the Hungarian National Team. It gives the Black-and-Red another player that is technically sound and create for others. It definitely can’t hurt to have another player that is comfortable facilitating, especially when countering.
Traivis Worra wasted no time expressing his excitement in this addition for D.C. United, they acquired Russell Canouse from German Bundesliga side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. It was a permanent transfer and he was signed to a multi-year deal per team press release. A former high-school teammate of Worra, Canouse brings quality experience for someone so young. The 22-year old fits right in with D.C. United’s changing midfield group and could be the answer at that spot behind Harkes and Acosta.
The last piece of this haul for D.C. United is United States Mens National Team midfielder Paul Arriola, it’s a permanent transfer from Club Tijuana in the Liga MX. Fresh of a solid showing in the Gold Cup the Black-and-Red, it took the highest transfer fee in club history to land him. United acquired Arriola’s rights from the LA Galaxy in exchange for $300,000 in general allocation money ($200,000 in 2018 and $100,000 in 2019) and $200,000 in targeted allocation money in 2018. This addition like the others is fits a need for both now and the future, it also gives the Black-and-Red something they’ve lacked, a player out wide with exceptional pace.
It hasn’t been a quality season for D.C. United to this point, but they definitely were aggressive in improving their roster both this season and beyond.