A day after trading with the Miami Fusion for rookie scoring prospect Chris Albright, D.C. United shook up its roster again yesterday by reacquiring midfielder John Maessner from the Fusion for midfielder Brian Kamler.
Maessner said he was told by Fusion General Manager Doug Hamilton last night that he had been traded to United. Reached at the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in San Diego, United General Manager Kevin Payne said he had no comment. However, Payne said on Friday that the deal for Albright would include "future considerations" for both teams.
"I'm very happy to be coming back," Maessner said. "I loved it there in D.C. I feel like I still know most of those guys."
Maessner, 30, played on United's championship teams in 1996 and '97 but was taken by Miami in the 1998 expansion draft. With speed and crossing ability, Maessner can play on either wing and likely will step into Kamler's spot on the left flank.
Maessner makes an estimated $15,000 to $20,000 more than Kamler does, and it's unclear how United plans to remain under the $1.7 million salary cap.
Sources said United also will have to send another player to Miami as part of the multiplayer trade. If Albright develops rapidly, D.C. may have to give up one of its starters after the season, possibly MLS scoring leader Roy Lassiter, those sources said.
Kamler, who is on vacation and couldn't be reached to comment, started 15 of United's 19 matches this year and had one goal and two assists.
Albright, 20, had two years of eligibility remaining at the University of Virginia, but signed with MLS last week. He was allocated to Miami by the league, which owns all player contracts, before being traded late Friday for a first-round pick in the 2000 college draft.
A first team all-American at Virginia, Albright is considered one of the top prospects in American soccer. He scored 20 goals for the Cavaliers last fall and started three games for the U.S. under-20 national team at the world youth championships in Nigeria this year, drawing interest from German power Bayern Munich. Albright's $24,000 base salary is exempt from United's salary cap figures because he is a Project-40 developmental player. He'll also receive between $5,000 and $10,000 a year from league sponsors, a source said.
"It's a good situation for me and I'll do whatever [Coach] Thomas Rongen wants," said Albright, who will join United Tuesday and probably make his debut Saturday at New England. "I'm definitely an American guy and I'm glad things worked out for me with MLS."