Three days after ending the worst season in club history, D.C. United began addressing the roster Wednesday by announcing it will not exercise contract options on three veterans whose playing time evaporated in the second half of the MLS season.
Forward Lionard Pajoy, 32, made 20 appearances and 11 starts in his second season with United, scoring two goals, but played just twice totaling 93 minutes in the last 13 matches. Forward Carlos Ruiz, 34, did not score in 13 league matches (five starts) and hadn’t played since July 20. Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, 31, was sidelined much of the season with knee injuries and finished with eight appearances — one since May — and four starts.
They combined to earn $375,000 this season, led by Pajoy’s base salary of $190,000 — third highest on the roster.
United acquired Pajoy (Colombia) from Philadelphia for midfielder Danny Cruz in the summer of 2012. It claimed Ruiz, a Guatemalan with the ninth-most goals in MLS history, in the allocation process just before the 2013 opener. Saragosa (Brazil) played two full seasons in Washington. Based on MLS service, Ruiz and Saragosa are eligible for the league’s re-entry drafts in December. Pajoy becomes a free agent.