*Josh Wolff has departed D.C. United’s coaching staff after one season to accept a similar position with the Columbus Crew. He, United Coach Ben Olsen and new Crew coach Gregg Berhalter were teammates on the 2006 U.S. World Cup squad. Upon Berhalter’s appointment last week, the Crew asked United for permission to interview Wolff.
“Josh is a dear friend,” Olsen said, “and I want whatever is best for him and his family. We weren’t going to stand in his way.”
United, which did not receive compensation from the Crew, has begun the search for a replacement but might not fill the opening until after Jan. 1. Olsen’s holdover assistants are Chad Ashton and Preston Burpo.
*Homegrown forward Michael Seaton, who a year ago was strolling the halls of Central High School in Capitol Heights, Md., made his Jamaican senior national team debut with a pair of appearances in friendlies against Trinidad & Tobago. The 17-year-old striker, who also holds U.S. citizenship, played the second half of a 1-0 loss in Montego Bay last Friday and started and played 58 minutes in a 2-0 loss in Port of Spain on Tuesday.
“He is growing as a player,” Olsen said. “He went from seizing up and cramping in preseason to impacting training by the end. He has got a ways to go, but being with [Jamaica] is a huge positive for him and for us.”
United is looking into sending him on a short training stint with a club overseas this winter.
*While Seaton is scheduled to accompany United’s delegation to Indonesia for a pair of friendlies in early December, Perry Kitchen and Nick DeLeon will remain at home: Both are getting married next month. Chris Pontius and Daniel Woolard have also been scratched after undergoing hamstring and toe surgery, respectively. The club is in the process of finalizing the travel group. Players from the Richmond Kickers, United’s third-division affiliates, will likely fill roster openings.
*In Olsen’s words, United has a “blank canvas” to rebuild the roster this winter. He declined to go into detail, but United received $100,000 in allocation money for qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League (via the U.S. Open Cup title) and, according to sources, at least $250,000 for missing the playoffs. Allocation money does not count against the salary cap and can be used to sign or re-sign players, and lessen the impact of a contract on the cap.
United cleared cap space by dumping Dwayne De Rosario ($600,00o, of which $370,000 counted against the cap); Lionard Pajoy ($190,000 against the cap); Carlos Ruiz ($75,000); and Marcelo Saragosa ($110,000). Others may depart soon as well. In addition, former defender Brandon McDonald‘s salary will purge from DCU’s books. (When he was traded midseason to Real Salt Lake, United agreed to cover almost all of his $235,000 contract.)
*According to Forbes, which knows a thing or two about money, United is the second-least valuable club in MLS, ahead of only Chivas USA. [Details here.] Presumably, United’s stadium situation has got a lot to do with it.
*MLS has announced the finalists for individual awards …
Coach: Jason Kreis, Mike Petke, Caleb Porter.
Rookie: Deshorn Brown, Dillon Powers, DeAndre Yedlin.
Defender: Matt Besler, Jose Goncalves, Omar Gonzalez.
Goalkeeper: Jimmy Nielsen, Donovan Ricketts, Nick Rimando.
Newcomer: Jose Goncalves, Nigel Reo-Coker, Diego Valeri.
Comeback: Kevin Alston, Conor Casey, Lamar Neagle.
Humanitarian: Jed Brovsky, Dwayne De Rosario, Matt Reis.
MVP: Marco Di Vaio, Robbie Keane, Mike Magee.
The winners will be rolled out over the next two weeks.