Patrick Mullins, whose arrival last summer helped invigorate D.C. United‘s bland attack and secure an MLS playoff berth, has signed a multiyear contract extension. His previous deal was to expire after the 2017 season.
Terms were not disclosed, but the 25-year-old striker apparently received a major pay raise. Sources familiar with the deal said he is slated to earn a base salary of $250,000 this year and $260,000 next year, with the club holding an option in 2019 worth $310,000. The first two years are guaranteed.
Last year Mullins had a base salary of $96,250 and overall earnings of $126,250, according to the MLS players’ union.
Acquired in a trade with New York City FC, where his playing time had dwindled in his third pro season, the former University of Maryland star scored two goals in his first four starts and later recorded a hat trick against Chicago and a two-goal game against Orlando. He finished with eight goals and two assists in 14 regular season matches (12 starts).
Mullins was the perfect fit for the lone-striker role, mixing with playmaker Luciano Acosta, winger Patrick Nyarko and newly acquired winger Lloyd Sam. With Mullins in the lineup, United scored 31 goals over a dozen matches (6-1-5 for 23 points). The club had posted six goals in its previous nine games.
“His work ethic on both sides of the ball, positional awareness and nose for the goal affect the outcome of games week after week,” United General Manager Dave Kasper said. “Securing Patrick’s future is another big step for the club.”
Mullins has started all four preseason matches and is projected to start the opener March 4 against Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium. He’ll have competition for playing time this season from Jose Guillermo Ortiz, who has shown well since arriving on loan from Costa Rican club Herediano.
United (2-1-1 in friendlies) will complete its preseason schedule this week with friendlies against second-division St. Louis FC, on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Clearwater, Fla., and the Philadelphia Union, on Saturday at 5 p.m. in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Meanwhile, the club is close to finalizing its local TV schedule, with NewsChannel 8 showing most matches for the second consecutive year, including the opener. Sister station ABC7 will also carry games, including the first away date, March 12 at New York City FC. At least three of the 34 matches will appear on national outlets.