United Finalizes Deal For Fred

Thursday, March 8, 2007

D.C. United has finalized a deal to acquire Fred, a Brazilian forward-midfielder who starred in the Australian league this past season, sources close to the negotiations said yesterday.

Fred's full name is Helbert Frederico Carreiro da Silva, but like many Brazilian players, he goes by one name. He is not related to the Brazilian national team player of the same nickname who plays for French club Lyon.

United is awaiting Fred's international clearance and work visa before it formally announces his signing, which could happen next week, those sources said. It appears unlikely, however, that he would play in Thursday's Champions' Cup semifinal match against Chivas of Mexico at RFK Stadium.

The contract is for four seasons, with three league-held option years, and will pay him a base salary of approximately $150,000 in 2007, one source said.

Fred, 27, helped Melbourne Victory to the Australian championship last month and shared the league's most valuable player award. United apparently intends to play him as a right-side attacking player in a lineup that includes Brazilian striker Luciano Emilio, Argentine playmaker Christian Gomez and Bolivian forward Jaime Moreno.

United technical director Dave Kasper declined to comment on the team's international player search, other than to say that it was continuing.

Meantime, Jamil Fearrington, a U.S.-Danish defender on tryout, was not offered a contract. Kasper said there were no immediate plans to audition other defenders. . . .

Columbus won a weighted lottery to acquire midfielder-forward Robbie Rogers, who left the University of Maryland last summer after one season to join a Dutch club and then signed with MLS last week. Based on last year's records, the Crew had the best odds of winning.

-- Steven Goff

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