WASHINGTON — D.C. United acquired goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. from Orlando City SC in exchange for a natural second-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Edwards will back up United starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
“Last season, Earl showed us that he has the size, athleticism and shot stopping ability to be a capable goalkeeper in MLS,” United said in a statement released Wednesday. “We are excited to add him to our goalkeeping ranks and welcome him to the District as we prepare for 2019.”
Although Edwards’ contract was set to expire after the end of 2018 season, Orlando retained his rights through the end of the calendar year.
Orlando selected Edwards, 26, in the third round of the 2015 SuperDraft. He spent four season with Orlando and appeared in six career matches, including five this past season. In his five starts, Edwards made 16 saves. Additionally, Edwards started against United in a penalty kick shootout victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in July.
Edwards spent most of 2017 with Orlando’s former USL side, Orlando City B. He recorded nine clean sheets in 26 games for OCB and made the USL All-League Second Team.
Thank you to everyone in the @OrlandoCitySC organization. I’m very grateful to have gotten my career started in such a great (and underrated) city. These past 4 years have been amazing, but my time here has come to an end and I wish the club all the best in the future! #GoLions
— Earl Edwards Jr (@earljrucla) December 19, 2018
United was in the market for a goalkeeper after third-string keeper Travis Worra’s contract expired. United also is reportedly looking to trade backup David Ousted, according to the Washington Post.
That leaves Edwards to back up Hamid, who is United’s No. 1 goalkeeper following his return to his hometown club this summer from a short stint with Danish club FC Midtjylland.
Since United traded away its second-round draft pick for Edwards, the club now has one first-round pick and two third-round picks for the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, which begins Jan. 11.
DCU did not exercise Travis Worra's contract option and is looking to move David Ousted, who has a guaranteed contract in 2019 for ~ $380,000
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) December 17, 2018