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Midfielder Simms Joins United's Camp

Wednesday, February 23, 2005; Page D02

Clyde Simms, a midfield prospect coveted by several MLS teams, has reached a tentative deal to join D.C. United.

MLS, which oversees all player acquisitions, purchased his contract from the minor league Richmond Kickers this week. Simms's agent, Bethesda-based Dan Segal, confirmed last night that he and the league had reached a deal in principle on a four-year contract. In anticipation of the deal, Simms had accompanied United to Hawaii on Sunday.

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Simms, 22, was largely unknown until last month, when he was among the players invited to U.S. national team training camp while the U.S. Soccer Federation and the players' union were locked in a labor dispute.

When a temporary resolution was reached, Simms was the only replacement player retained by U.S. Coach Bruce Arena. He was later cut from the roster prior to the World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago. However, Simms might be invited back to camp next week as the U.S. team prepares for qualifiers vs. Mexico and Guatemala.

D.C. officials envision Simms as a defensive midfielder with the ability to join the attack. He might make his United debut in Honolulu this week when the club plays a pair of exhibitions.

-- Steven Goff

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