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D.C. United set to acquire forward Miguel Berry from Columbus Crew

Crew forward Miguel Berry, left, battles for the ball with D.C. United defender Donovan Pines in October. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
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D.C. United continued its midseason roster overhaul under incoming coach Wayne Rooney by agreeing to acquire forward Miguel Berry from the Columbus Crew for financial considerations, a person with knowledge of the deal said Monday.

United will send Columbus $225,000 in general allocation money that will be spread over two years, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move wasn’t publicly announced. That amount could increase with performance-based incentives.

Berry, 24, has 10 goals and two assists over 34 games (22 starts) since being selected by the Crew with the seventh pick in the 2020 draft. Although Berry’s emergence as the Crew’s first-choice striker led Columbus to trade U.S. national team veteran Gyasi Zardes to the Colorado Rapids in April, his minutes dwindled following the recent signing of Colombian forward Cucho Hernández.

Hernández scored twice in the Crew’s 2-2 draw with United on Wednesday at Audi Field, while Berry was left off the game-day squad.

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Born in Spain and raised in Southern California, Berry racked up 38 goals and 16 assists while playing at the University of San Diego from 2016 to 2019. He joins a D.C. forward corps that includes Norwegian veteran Ola Kamara (seven goals this season), offseason signing Michael Estrada (four goals, four assists) and reserve Nigel Robertha (one goal, three assists)., the Athletic and the Columbus Dispatch also confirmed the trade, which came three days after United dealt wing back Julian Gressel to the Vancouver Whitecaps for up to $900,000 in allocation money. United last week announced the hiring of Rooney, the English superstar who played for D.C. from 2018 to 2019, though interim coach Chad Ashton will continue to lead the team on the sidelines until Rooney receives a work visa.

At 5-11-3, United has the worst record in MLS and is mired in a 1-6-3 skid since early May. The club is targeting several European-based players ahead of the Aug. 4 transfer deadline, including attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison, a 29-year-old Jamaica international who played under Rooney for England’s Derby County.