D.C. United news & notes

January 22, 2013

*With Pat Onstad off to his native Canada to work for Toronto FC, D.C. United has turned to former New York Red Bulls goalkeepers coach Todd Hoffard to oversee the keeper corps during the first stage of training camp in Bradenton, Fla. The club has not offered him a contract and has yet to decide about a permanent replacement for Onstad. United received financial compensation from Toronto for agreeing to terminate Onstad’s contract.

With Bill Hamid on U.S. national team duty and Andrew Dykstra not reporting until the end of the week after training in England, Joe Willis is the only returning keeper in camp at the moment. Willis returned home early from workouts with Premier League club Sunderland after injuring an ankle.

United is taking a serious look at Diego Restrepo, the former University of Virginia standout who has performed the past two years in Colombia and Venezuela. Restrepo, 24, has also drawn interest from two other Eastern Conference teams, so if well-stocked United decides to pass on him, he very well could end up elsewhere in MLS. The other keeper in camp is Matt van Oekel, a trialist from the NASL’s Minnesota Stars.

*United announced the signing of midfielder John Thorrington, 33, an eight-year MLS veteran who has been slowed by injuries over a career that began in the Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen youth systems. DCU chose him in the re-entry draft last month and agreed to terms a few weeks ago. He will provide cover in central midfield and on the right side.

*The MLS supplemental draft, an extension of last week’s SuperDraft, will take place at 2 p.m. ET today. United will not have a selection until the second round (36th overall), and despite possessing three picks in the four-round draft, the club will probably claim just two players.

*The club is awaiting the arrival of Brazilians Raphael Augusto and Rafael. Normal visa issues stand in the way. [UPDATE: Rafael is in camp.]

*Branko Boskovic has rejoined Rapid Vienna after 2 1/2 years with United.

*United has arranged two scrimmages at IMG Academy in Bradenton: Saturday against the Columbus Crew and Feb. 1 against Swedish club Malmo.

*Among the trialists is Demetrius Omphroy, a 23-year-old defender/midfielder from the Bay Area. He has only a slim chance to remain in camp beyond the Bradenton sessions but does have a remarkable back story:

Sporting Lisbon academy before playing at University of California; U.S. under-18 national team but family roots led to a Panama U-21 camp and the Philippines senior national team; drafted by Toronto in 2011, released at the end of the season, signed with a Philippine club; treated for multiple sclerosis since 2010; MLS humanitarian of the year nominee in ’11; appeared briefly in a Justin Bieber video, “Boyfriend,” which has been viewed 203 million times.

Here’s a video about his MS diagnosis:

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff · January 21, 2013