D.C. United and midfielder Branko Boskovic have parted ways, ending a 2 1/2-year tenure interrupted by a major knee injury. Boskovic, 32, was under contract through next summer, but family issues in his native Montenegro led to a mutual agreement to terminate the deal.
“I have had some private family matters for several months now,” Boskovic said in a written statement Wednesday. “It’s a difficult decision for me after a very good season here. I think that we will get better and better, but now I must leave. I wish all the best to this team and this club. This city is going to be my heart in the future.”
Boskovic never fulfilled expectations after tearing a knee ligament in a U.S. Open Cup match early in 2011. He returned this year to play in 26 of 34 regular season matches and was second on the team in assists with seven. But his fitness was an issue throughout the season and he started just 12 times. Only once in the regular season did he play all 90 minutes.
Boskovic agreed to a substantial pay cut in the middle of the season in order to remain with the team. A designated player with a base salary of $409,000 and $545,000 in guaranteed compensation, he was earning $195,000/$242,000 by the end of the year.
In the playoffs, with United weakened by injuries, Boskovic started all four matches and scored in the 1-1 finale against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at RFK Stadium.
“It’s important that Branko return to Europe to be with his family at this time,” General Manager Dave Kasper said in a written statement. “We thank Branko for all of his efforts with United, including some wonderful performances this year that helped us achieve post-season play.”