Devon McTavish has spent all six of his MLS seasons with D.C. United, but after missing almost all of the 2011 campaign with concussion issues, he knew his time was up.
“When you are out as long as I was, there was no logic for them to keep me,” said McTavish, 27, who was among nine players set free by United on Tuesday. “It’s been a great ride. I’ve enjoyed my time with D.C.”
McTavish, a midfielder-defender from James Wood High School in Winchester, Va., and West Virginia University, had the second-longest continuous service on United, trailing midfielder Clyde Simms’s seven seasons. United also declined to exercise contract options on Simms, defender Marc Burch (five years) and midfielder Santino Quaranta (10 of 11 MLS seasons with DCU). All will be available in the re-entry drafts, Dec. 5 and 12.
An adaptable and well-liked player selected late in the 2006 supplemental draft, McTavish started 20 games in 2007, 25 in ‘08 and 16 in 2010. He was the club’s humanitarian of the year twice, in part for his work bringing attention to Crohn’s disease, a digestive affliction affecting both him and his father.
In training camp last winter, McTavish suffered a concussion that sidelined him almost the entire season. By the time he regained his health and fitness, United’s rotation was set, and he didn’t appear in any first-team matches. While many players have been forced to retire because of long-term concussion effects, McTavish said he feels good and would still like to play.
“I’ve thought about the future, whether I want to play, but hopefully I’ll find something else,” he said. “I’m going into the re-entry draft and see what happens.”