D.C. United news and notes

*D.C. United received a 2014 late-round draft pick from New England in exchange for Charlie Davies‘s MLS rights. If only it were that simple.

The league has yet to decide the number of rounds this winter. If unchanged, United would have the Revolution’s fourth selection in the four-round supplement draft, which is conducted a week after the two-round regular draft. If the supplemental stage is trimmed to two rounds, United would have New England’s second pick.

Either way, United gained something for nothing. Davies has not played in MLS since 2011 and never re-entered D.C.’s plans. Nonetheless, the club retained his league rights. He was, in essence, a small leftover commodity.

When New England showed interest this summer in acquiring Davies, 27, on loan from Danish club Randers, United had two options: forego the right of first refusal without compensation and expose him to the waiver draft, or negotiate a minor trade. Naturally, the club welcomed a trade. United was not going to receive much in exchange for Davies’s rights, but passing up the opportunity would have been foolish.

With the trade finalized, Davies will join the Revolution on loan from Randers. He recorded 11 goals for United in 2011 but did not score in 25 appearances, mostly as a reserve, in the Danish league last season.

The transaction exposes another murky MLS guideline: a club’s ability to maintain a player’s league rights even after breaking ties years earlier. The blame does not lie with United or any other MLS team — they are pursuing compensation afforded by the rules.

In the Davies case, United declined an option after the 2011 season to purchase his contract from French club Sochaux for $1.3 million. At that point, General Manager Dave Kasper entered preliminary discussions with Davies’s agent about negotiating a new arrangement. The sides were far apart on contract terms as part of another loan.

So Davies decided to return to Europe, which, under MLS parameters, was an act of walking away from the league. In words, United had unfinished business with him.

“There probably needs to be a tweak of the rules,” said a national source familiar with MLS’s roster and personnel parameters.

Meantime, the Revolution announced forward Juan Agudelo signed a pre-contract with Stoke City in the English Premier League, meaning he will leave the MLS club when his current deal expires in December.

*United midfielder Luis Silva, who suffered a head injury Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Chicago, did not practice. The club was awaiting results of concussion tests but, as of noon Friday, had yet to rule him out of Saturday’s match at Philadelphia.

Silva, who received a blow to the mouth in challenging Bakary Soumare near midfield, has scored in each of the three regular season matches since being acquired from Toronto FC.

*Bill Hamid will make his first start in goal since reporting to U.S. national team duty in late June. He had rejoined United last week but served as Joe Willis‘s back-up for the two recent matches.

“He needs to get back in the net,” Coach Ben Olsen said of Hamid. “I have the luxury of two very good goalkeepers, but Bill needs to get games again.”

*Third-choice keeper Andrew Dykstra was the only player sent to Richmond for the Kickers’ USL home match Saturday night against Dayton. Defender Conor Shanosky, midfielder Collin Martin and forward Michael Seaton were in the mix for travel with United to Philadelphia.

*NBC Sports Network will carry the United match. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET but kickoff for NBCSN games is typically about 20 minutes later.

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 | August 8, 2013