D.C. United signs midfielder-defender Floribert N'Galula

D.C. United has not decided whether to re-sign veteran Christian Gómez, above, or seek a viable replacement.
D.C. United has not decided whether to re-sign veteran Christian Gómez, above, or seek a viable replacement. (John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post)
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By Steven Goff
Friday, January 22, 2010

D.C. United on Thursday signed midfielder-defender Floribert N'Galula, a former Manchester United prospect who has failed to find a long-term home since being let go by the prestigious English Premier League club in 2007.

N'Galula, 22, is a candidate to play defensive midfield and central defense for the MLS team.

"He has the physical tools and versatility to be very successful in our league," General Manager Dave Kasper said in a written statement.

N'Galula, who was born in Congo before moving to Belgium as a youth, joined Manchester United in 2003 at age 16 and played in the academy and reserve system. He was included on the first-team game-day roster twice for league matches in 2005-06 but didn't play.

Released after the 2006-07 season, N'Galula moved to Danish club Randers and then Sparta Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where he played for the reserve squad. Last summer, hoping to return to England, he had a tryout with Crewe Alexandra in the fourth division.

D.C. evaluated him at invitation-only workouts in Washington this winter.

N'Galula is the fourth player with international ties acquired by D.C. United this offseason, joining goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who re-signed with the club after two years in Norway; Salvadoran midfielder Christian Castillo; and Australian forward Danny Allsopp.

The foreign search continued this week with Kasper and Coach Curt Onalfo heading to Argentina and Uruguay.

Despite the addition of Allsopp and N'Galula, the club might feel the need to add another forward and central defender. It must also address central midfield: Veteran Christian Gómez's contract was not renewed and the club apparently hasn't decided whether to offer him a new deal or identify a replacement.

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