United signs Australian striker Danny Allsopp

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

D.C. United's global search to replenish its roster continued Monday with the signing of Danny Allsopp, an Australian striker who spent the past four months in the Middle East.

Allsopp, 31, will help fill the void left by Brazilian Luciano Emilio, the 2007 MLS most valuable player whose team-high contract of nearly $800,000 was not renewed after two lackluster seasons.

"He is an athletic forward with a nose for the goal who will complement our other attacking players," United General Manager Dave Kasper said. Per league policy, terms of the contract were not released.

Allsopp, who is 6 feet 1, has had a well-traveled career that included seven years in England's lower divisions. After making 30 appearances for Manchester City, he went on loan three times before signing with Notts County and scoring 50 goals in more than 100 matches in all competitions.

He then added 22 goals in two seasons with Hull City before returning to Australia to play for Melbourne Victory, where he won a scoring title and two league championships in four-plus seasons and was a teammate of Fred, who was with United from 2007 through '09.

Last fall Allsopp joined Al-Rayyan in the Qatar league, which, despite the modest quality of play, has attracted high-profile players in the twilight of their careers with high wages. Though neither particularly high profile nor nearing retirement, Allsopp cashed in with Al-Rayyan and contributed six goals in 12 appearances.

Kasper said United has been tracking Allsopp for a "few years."

Despite his scoring rate at the club level, he has never been able to parlay it into regular national team call-ups. After successful stints for Australia's age-restrictive squads, he didn't show well with the senior team and made just three appearances.

Allsopp is the second attacking player acquired by United, joining Salvadoran left-side midfielder Cristian Castillo, who is on loan from Mexican club Leon. United also appears to be in the market for a central midfielder to replace Christian Gómez, who seems unlikely to return. D.C. might also try to identify a central defender and add to its front-line depth.

United addressed goalkeeping issues last week by reacquiring Troy Perkins, who spent two years with Valerenga in Norway.

Coach Curt Onalfo and top assistant Kris Kelderman are scheduled to make a scouting trip to Brazil this week and another team official is planning to visit Costa Rica soon.

The club is tentatively scheduled to open training camp Jan. 28 at the RFK Stadium facilities.

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