One thing that can’t be said about the Black-and-Red this season is that they’ve been sitting on their laurels and “hoping” that things turn around. The team has continued it’s stretch of being proactive, adding yet another player in hopes of sparking their attack.
D.C. United acquired Kennedy Igboananike from the Chicago Fire yesterday in exchange for targeted allocation money and a third round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
Igbonanike didn’t quite live up to what the Fire had hoped, scoring 11 goals in 49 appearances in the last two seasons. Despite being named as a forward, he played mostly on the wing for the Fire. Despite being traded to D.C. United, Kennedy will remain Chicago’s Designated Player. Which means they’ll be footing the bill for him this season.
He’ll be rejoining his former teammate Alhaji Kamara (Djurgardens IF) here for D.C. United. It’s hard to imagine him playing up top along side either Kamara, Mullins, or Saborio, but very conceivable to see him playing underneath them or out wide. It’s a good problem for a team like D.C. United to have.
Pace has been an area of which an emphasis has been placed, the acquisition of Igbonanike falls directly under that umbrella. He joins a group of Lloyd Sam, Patrick Nyarko, Luciano Acosta, and Lamar Neagle as players whose pace is a big part of their game. Like Sam and Acosta he can make plays for others, but having a shoot first mentality can’t hurt for a team that struggles to finish in the attacking third.
It’s on the coaching staff to fit these pieces together, but it’s a welcome issue. D.C. United has played many games that have resulted in draws because of their lack of finishing. It puts added pressure on their backline and keeper, similar to a pitcher getting little run support. The tiniest breakdown can becomes game changing.
Coming off a 4-1 loss to Toronto on the road and having to face Montreal at home, it shows that the organization is moving with a sense of urgency. D.C. United must now find a way to incorporate these new pieces and move up the standings, sooner than later.
It’ll be extremely interesting to see how this all plays out, but it’s good to see that the Black-and-Red are trying to address an issue. Scoring.