D.C. United reacquires goalie Troy Perkins in trade with Philadelphia

"D.C. United is where things began and where I belong," said Troy Perkins, who earned MLS goalkeeper of the year honors in 2006. (Victor Decolongon/getty Images)
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By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 14, 2010

D.C. United addressed its goalkeeping issues Wednesday night, reacquiring Troy Perkins as part of a trade with the expansion Philadelphia Union.

United dealt Brazilian midfielder Fred, its first-round pick (seventh overall) in Thursday's draft and financial considerations in order to claim Perkins, who is returning to MLS after two years with Norwegian club Valerenga.

As a U.S. national team player, Perkins was subject to the league's allocation process and could not sign with a club of his choosing. Philadelphia was first on the list, providing leverage for a possible trade.

With Josh Wicks sidelined most of preseason after shoulder and knee surgeries and two young keepers in reserve, United was in need of a veteran goalie.

"It's been a priority of ours to secure his return," United General Manager Dave Kasper said.

"D.C. United is where things began and where I belong," said Perkins, 28, who played for United between 2004 and '07 and was MLS's goalkeeper of the year in 2006.

Fred spent three seasons with United, playing primarily on the flanks. He contributed seven goals and eight assists in 2007, but had a combined four goals and eight assists the past two seasons. The club was weighing the possibility of moving him into the playmaker role this year, but with his departure and central midfielder Christian Gómez unlikely to return, United might end up signing a foreign player for that role.

By trading its first-round pick, United has no selections until the fourth (and final) round.

Meantime, by the time coaches and executives gather inside a ballroom at the Philadelphia Convention Center for the draft, they will be quite familiar with the collection of players available to them. They will have compiled research since the completion of the college season a month ago and attended the scouting combine that concluded Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

What they will not have had available to them is the blizzard of video, second-hand reports and first-hand accounts that anchor pre-draft analysis for other pro leagues, such as the NBA and NFL.

Last fall, only 12 matches during the men's college regular season appeared on a national TV outlet (Fox Soccer Channel), and they did not necessarily involve top teams and prospects. Other games were available on satellite and regional networks, and the College Cup semifinals and final were shown live.

For the most part, though, teams were on their own, gathering shaky video from college programs, networking with former players and colleagues, attending games in person and scouring the Internet for information.

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