DC United Remakes Roster -- United is undergoing some serious changes. It's not clear if the team is getting stronger, but they're certainly not getting any younger.
Most obvious will be changes in goal. The red, white and black's sparkling young goalkeeper, Troy Perkins, has gone off to try his hands in Europe. United replaced him by dealing 2006 defender of the year Brian Boswell, to Houston, in exchange for the Dynamo's back-up keeper, Zack Wells. In addition, United is reportedly on the verge of bringing in a veteran Peruvian goalkeeper, Jose Carvallo, to back up Wells.
The team's defense will remain largely the same, except that Boswell is to be replaced by an aging Colombian international, Gonzalo Martinez. Midfield is a question mark. With a visa and plane tickets already in hand, Juan Sebastian Veron backed out of a deal with United, leaving United with no plan B for bringing in a top international to fill the team's Designated Player slot. This jolt makes it more imperative that United re-signs Christian Gomez. Indication are that Gomez will return.
The front line continues to be anchored by Luciano Emilio. Jaime Moreno has reportedly signed up for another go-around with United, but he will be fighting for playing time. United has brought in a new striker, from the Argentine Primera division, the truly diminutive Franco Neill.
Although there is no official word on their return, United seems likely to bring back Moreno and Gomez, because they have no other options. This is an aging team, and isn't getting younger, replacing Boswell with the 32 year-old Martinez. This leaves United with two starting defenders in their 30s, and a host of midfielders and strikers that are probably on the downside of their careers.
Worse yet, United doesn't have a top draft pick. However, the team could remedy this, if United is giving up on using their DP slot.
The Galaxy have the fourth pick in the draft and seem to be lining up Luis Figo, but they need a DP slot. United could make that swap, and bring in a young talented player to bolster a rapidly aging roster. If LA is interested, and DC really has no one in mind for the slot, why not jump on this?
DC United will have to move on this. My guess is there will be several teams interested in dealing their DP slot.
With KC losing Eddie Johnson, they're going to want a young star in the making. No one is fool enough to think they can afford to sign a DP, nor is there much chance that anyone worth signing is going to come to KC -- maybe in a few years, with a new stadium, but not while they're playing in a minor league baseball park.
The Rapids might also think about dealing their DP slot. Denver won't be attractive destination, except possibly for a Mexican. Of course, there are those Borghetti rumors... Of course, Toronto, or San Jose might also be willing to deal their DP -- even Houston might consider the possibility, but they'd likely reject it, given the number of international competitions the team will be playing.
Personally, I'd love to see United find someone worthy of the Designated Player slot. The team lacks depth, and the quality of the top 11 isn't overwhelming. United could do with improvement at any position. However, if that slot is going to go unused, United should seriously consider dealing the slot before Friday's SuperDraft. Perhaps United management thinks DC has a realistic chance of signing a top international -- perhaps Veron has expressed a commitment to come after the Copa Libertadores. If that's not the case, then I would suggest United make the deal, assuming the Galaxy are interested.