D.C. United keeps making moves. What do we got?
Re-signed: midfielder Kurt Morsink
In: defender Daniel Woolard
Out: forward Pablo Hernandez
Thoughts: At first glance, D.C. United’s central midfield couldn’t be more crowded headed into the 2011 season with the re-signing of Morsink. D.C. already traded for Dax McCarty in November, and it still has veteran Clyde Simms and youngster Conor Shanosky on the roster, not to mention designated player Branko Boskovic, who can also play centrally.
So what’s going on?
For one, it doesn’t mean that there’ll be an eventual trade of Simms. According to his agent, Simms is very much in United’s plans going forward this season.
If that’s the case, the opening day midfield pairing in a 4-4-2 should be Simms and McCarty. Morsink is a steady back-up who provides a strong presence in the locker room and on the practice field. Shanosky, despite his promise with the under-20 U.S. national team, isn’t quite ready to be a day-in, day-out starter in Major League Soccer. Keep in mind, he would’ve just finished his freshman season at George Mason if D.C. hadn’t scooped him up with a homegrown contract.
In addition, Boskovic said repeatedly last season that he’s always played on the left side. Where he ends up could be influenced by how D.C. decides to use Santino Quaranta, especially if the right midfield spot is still to be held down by Andy Najar.
But back to Simms, who was mentioned in a trade rumor before the holidays. D.C. has certainly opened itself to the market to see what’s available, but it really doesn’t have much to offer. Simms, being one of the few things of value, is a player other teams might’ve inquired about, but it doesn’t appear that United is shopping him around.
As for Hernandez, that completes the fairly spectacular failure of D.C.’s forward signings in 2010, given that Danny Allsopp was out of the picture the moment the final whistle blew in October. Gotta figure it’s more likely those two guys are remembered in the same way as Ange N’Silu, Francis Doe, Quavas Kirk and Franco Niell, not Jaime Moreno and Luciano Emilio (although even his legacy ain’t exactly the best).
There was always a question about Hernandez. If nothing else, an Argentinian player playing in Uruguay, a six-figure one at that, raises alarm bells. If not that, then his zero goals in 14 league appearances (13 starts) should’ve done the trick.