Busy weekend for our beloved DC United.

First up, United trades Facundo Erpen to Colorado for Greg Vanney.

On the surface United gets veteran lefty Vanney, and the Rapids get Erpen AND pick up the difference in salaries. If you dig a little deeper… Erpen was a Youth International this year and was going to be a Senior International next year. So by trading him United gains a YI slot this year and, more importantly, don’t have to use an SI slot on him next year. Currently on the roster Gomez, Fred, and Emelio are SIs so if Erpen stayed then one of them would have to go anyway and it was still likely to be Erpen. Even if Gomez does not accept a new contract next year, United will (hopefully) bring in another top-notch player as an SI. United then is bringing in Brazilian Vagner George Santana Da Silva for a trial starting tomorrow. He is an 18yr old from Atletico Mineiro (the club that has partnered with DC United) so he could potentially take Erpen’s YI spot.

For the really short term, I’m overall happy with the move. Erpen was always a bit too “wild n crazy” back there. He had at least one head-scratcher per game. In the same game where he would cost you a goal he would also have a golazo, or mark someone out of the match (Juan Pablo Angel for example), or a game-winning assist. He had been playing light years better since United moved to a 442 early this season. I think Vanney will help in the mistakes department as he is a much steadier player, I just hope it is enough to counter the lack of athleticism. I think it will be.

Then Dominic Mediate is signed.

This has been in the works for a while. After breaking his leg last year, he was taking too long to recover so United dropped him in preseason. Now that it seems like he’s able to play again, he gets picked up by United. He’s been guest-playing for United in several reserve games so far this year.

And now Casal has been let go.

I was kinda curious where this was headed. He came here with a bit of noise as a star player in the Fulham reserve system. I thought back then (on paper at least) he was a really good fit. Used to the physcial English style, a big, tall, fast and strong force on the wing is exactly what we needed. The Fulham fans were a bit surprised he was released by the club as he was something of a star for their youth club, and was very highly rated by them. But I guess there was a reason that Fulham let him go. He never seemed to catch on with the 1st team, and in the little bit that I’ve seen of him he didn’t seem all that savvy in a positional sense. It would have been nice tolet him develop some, but apparently we needed the senior roster spot and he didn’t want to take a Developmental spot. Frankly, with the corresponding $20k+ drop in salary… I would have too.

Update: Tommy Soehn quoted by Goff…:

“We had a lot of conversations on being a two-way player and the importance of [Casal’s] defensive responsibility. We saw a lot of potential, and that’s why we brought him in, and the inconsistencies…he’d play reserve games and instead of being one of the best guys on the field, he had highs and lows all the time. It’s always up to us to manage our roster and reward guys who needed to be rewarded. We wanted him to take a lower salary and he wasn’t prepared to do that. We don’t want to stand in his way of if he’s going to have an opportunity somewhere else. He’s a good kid. The relationship we had with him, he understood what was expected of him and he liked the organization, but felt he wanted to go search other opportunities.”

Injury updates…

Namoff did some light work, and Kpene didn’t according to Goff. So Namoff is a maybe for Wednesday, Kpene is definitely out.

Sources for all this info were mainly from Goff’s blog, The DCenters, my own Genius, and of course… BigSoccer.