D.C. United has acquired veteran right back Robbie Russell from Real Salt Lake for a 2013 draft pick, a trade that addresses a defensive issue and reunites the 32-year-old with his wife, who is an attorney in Washington.
“He has championship level experience in our league, and he will be a big addition to our squad,” United General Manager Dave Kasper said of Russell, who converted the winning penalty kick for RSL in the 2009 MLS Cup.
With Russell out of contract, United could’ve waited to claim him without compensation in the re-entry drafts Dec. 5 and 12, but that would’ve risked him being selected by another club. United gave up a pick that will be either in the third round of the regular draft or the first round of the supplemental draft, depending on the league format.
United’s interest in Russell first surfaced on the Insider on Monday.
United needed to address the right back position because of Jed Zayner’s injuries and Chris Korb’s inexperience. Perry Kitchen, who, like Korb, was a rookie in 2011, spent most of the year at right back but is slated to move into defensive midfield.
On his Twitter page, Russell wrote: “Much love to all the players, and fans from RSL!! Am sad to be leaving but very excited about my new opportunity in DC!!”
Russell’s wife, Tiana, is an attorney at Arnold & Porter’s office in downtown Washington.