Marcos Sanchez, a 23-year-old Panamanian midfielder who had a tremendous assist in a World Cup qualifier last week, will begin a trial with D.C. United this week, the Insider has learned. [UPDATE: DCU has confirmed the trial.]
Sanchez has been a regular for Tauro for several years in the CONCACAF Champions League and is nearing 20 caps for the national team, which is a finalist in the 2014 qualifying hexagonal.
Sanchez’s assist against Costa Rica is at the 12-second mark of this video:
United is also planning to invite an MLS player out of contract to camp. His identify, however, could not be ascertained at this time. [UPDATE: The player is Jamaican defender Shavar Thomas, 32, who has played for seven MLS teams since 2003, most recently the Montreal Impact.]
With 18 days until the season opener, United is evaluating several trialists. With the two imminent arrivals, the club will have 34 players in camp. The maximum allowed by MLS is 30. United seems likely to retain 27 or 28.
Others vying for a contract are goalkeeper Matt VanOekel, defenders Henry Kalungi and Jan Frederiksen (Denmark), and attackers Joseph Nane, Kyle Porter (Canada), Ryan Richter and Walter Martinez (Honduras).
If retained, Martinez would not count against the international roster limit because he has permanent residency. (His wife is American.)
Taylor Kemp, United’s first-round draft pick, has yet to sign a contract but is expected to reach a deal soon.
In other news…..
Goalkeeper Joe Willis is not with the club in Orlando, resting a foot injury that he aggravated during a training stint in England.
Forward Hamdi Salihi is close to signing with a Chinese club, a move that, if completed by March 1, would rid United of his designated-player salary cap hit.
Indonesian midfielder Syamsir Alam has begun workouts after receiving visa clearance. Although he is little known outside of Indonesia, he is quite popular inside the country of 240 million.
United will play its second match at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City (6 p.m. ET, live stream on mlssoccer.com).