Four months after becoming D.C. United’s technical director, Dane Murphy might leave the MLS organization for a position in England.
Multiple people close to the situation said Murphy is a top candidate for an unspecified job with third-division Barnsley. An agreement has not been reached, one source cautioned. Murphy, 32, did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The former University of Virginia midfielder played for United in 2008. After entering the business side of soccer a few years ago, he returned to Washington last fall to assist General Manager Dave Kasper in overseeing the rosters for the MLS squad and Loudoun United, a new second-division team owned by the D.C. group.
Although he had been working for United for months, Murphy was not formally introduced until late January. His previous personnel jobs were with Real Salt Lake and the lower-tier New York Cosmos.
Barnsley is second in England’s League One, well-positioned to gain promotion back to the Championship (second flight) after being relegated last year. The ownership group includes Billy Beane, the famed baseball executive and primary subject of the “Moneyball” book and 2011 movie.
>> United’s Joseph Mora and Junior Moreno have been summoned by their respective national teams for friendlies this month, but neither will miss any MLS matches while they are away.
Mora, the starting left back, will join Costa Rica for games at Guatemala on March 22 and home against Jamaica four days later. Moreno, a starting defensive midfielder, will accompany Venezuela to Spain to face Argentina on March 22 in Madrid and a Catalan squad March 25 in Girona.
They will report for international duty after United’s home match against Real Salt Lake on March 16 and return ahead of the March 31 game at Orlando City.
Midfielder Ulises Segura, who is in the Costa Rican player pool, was not selected. Neither was Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Stieber.
U.S. Coach Gregg Berhalter is likely to summon D.C. midfielder Paul Arriola, who impressed during the winter friendlies, Berhalter’s first since being hired. The Americans will face Ecuador in Orlando on March 21 and Chile in Houston on March 26.
The March friendlies fall inside an official FIFA window, when teams are required to release players. MLS lightens the schedule during such periods but, unlike most top-flight leagues, does not go dark, leaving some teams undermanned. There are five MLS matches scheduled during this window.
United is braced to lose players for league matches this summer while the Concacaf Gold Cup and Copa America take place.
>> United is planning to allow U.S. midfielder Chris Durkin to play in the Under-20 World Cup in Poland, even though FIFA does not require clubs to release players for junior competitions.
United sees the world tournament as an opportunity for Durkin, 19, to gain valuable international experience. It could also boost his value on the global transfer market.
The U-20 World Cup will run from May 23 to June 15, a timetable that would allow Durkin to return to active duty for United while others are away at the Gold Cup (June 15-July 7) and Copa America (June 14-July 7).
>> Midfielder Russell Canouse did not practice Thursday, three days before United will face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. No specific reason was given, though speaking generally about the health of the team following the 2-0 victory over Atlanta on Sunday, Coach Ben Olsen said there was “some niggling stuff but nothing to be alarmed about.”
>> Rookies Donovan Pines, Akeem Ward and Antonio Bustamante were loaned to Loudoun United for the USL team’s inaugural match Saturday at Nashville. All three are expected to start.
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