While several MLS clubs, including the Eastern leaders in New York, have bolstered their roster heading into the second half of the season, D.C. United has remained quiet.
General Manager Dave Kasper didn’t rule out a move before the league’s international transfer window closes at midnight tonight. Even if United were to acquire someone, it would probably be a secondary player to provide cover, not a marquee name.
“We have always believed in our depth. It’s something we put a strong emphasis on in the offseason,” Kasper said Friday at RFK Stadium. “We talked about it a lot moving into the season that we have quality depth and two players at every position. So when you do that, often times you are not looking for a lot of pieces in the summertime.”
Today’s deadline applies to loans and transfers. MLS clubs are permitted to sign players who became free agents earlier in the summer, execute trades and acquire domestic players on loan through Sept. 14, when rosters are frozen.
“Generally we are always looking,” Kasper said. “We have explored some opportunities. We are exploring through midnight tonight. It’s a little early to say if anything will come to fruition, but we are at it. Something could happen today.”
United (10-7-3) is not desperate for help in any one position, but after suffering three losses in four league matches and watching the rival Red Bulls add Sebastian Le Toux from the Vancouver Whitecaps and Tim Cahill from Everton, DCU faces considerable challenges in pursuit of the top slot in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield.
Both United and the Red Bulls have assembled deep and diverse attacks. They are the top-scoring teams in the conference and in the top four in MLS.
DCU: Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, Branko Boskovic, Maicon Santos, Hamdi Salihi, Andy Najar, Danny Cruz, Nick DeLeon.
NY: Thierry Henry, Kenny Cooper, Tim Cahill, Sebastian LeToux, Joel Lindpere, Mehdi Ballouchy.
Defensively, with Robbie Russell sidelined with a foot injury and Emiliano Dudar out of form, United could seek reinforcements.
“You can look at the last couple of games, but we believe a big part of that is not being in a rhythm,” said Kasper, whose club will have played just five league matches between May 27 and Aug. 3.
“There is a fine line there with match fitness and match sharpness. You have that when you are playing on a regular basis. We’re obviously concerned about that – we want to get out of that funk.”
And, he added, “We will continue to look at opportunities until September.”