D.C. United acquires Indonesian midfielder

January 25, 2013

Erick Thohir, D.C. United’s chief investor, lives in Indonesia and isn’t around these parts very often. His influence, however, goes beyond his financial support.

In a move undoubtedly pushed by its money man, United acquired Indonesian midfielder Sayamsir Alam on loan from CS Vise, a second-division club in Belgium. Like Thohir, Alam, 20, is from Jakarta.

He made five appearances as a substitute totaling 51 minutes this season for Vise, which employs six Indonesian players and is 15th in the 18-team league with 19 points from 20 matches. Indonesian executive Aga Bakrie is Vise’s chairman. The Bakrie Group, which has energy and financial investments, owns an Indonesian soccer club as well as Australia’s Brisbane Roar.

United officials saw him play in a Vise reserve match a few months ago. He comes to Washington on a free loan. The visa process will allow him to arrive in about three weeks.

According to his Vise bio, Alam has trained with Dutch and Uruguayan clubs while also figuring in Indonesia’s junior national teams.

“Syamsir is a young, attacking midfielder with good technical ability,” United GM Dave Kasper said in a written statement.

Last fall, United invited Indonesian midfielder Andik Vermansyah to practice with the team.

Thohir was quoted in the Indonesian media last fall as saying: “I’ve been lobbying for D.C. United’s management to accommodate some of Indonesia’s young players on their team.”

At age 20, Alam could become a candidate for assignment to the Richmond Kickers, United’s new third-division affiliate.

On Twitter, Thohir wrote: “so happy, finally DC United have an Indonesian player. Hope Alam can perform.”

More to come…..For now, a highlight video:

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 24, 2013