WASHINGTON — A day after the Major League Soccer contract deadline, D.C. United released a small glimpse into what the 2020 roster will look like.
United is working to negotiate new contracts for two key defensive pieces in defender Frédéric Brillant and goalkeeper Bill Hamid. The team is also negotiating with starting midfielder Lucas Rodriguez.
Hamid and Rodriguez played for United under loans from their respective clubs, and United is eager to have them return in 2020.
While working to get Hamid, United re-signed goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Midfielder Luciano Acosta headlines the list of players departing United following his struggles during the 2019 season. In 2016, Acosta joined United from Argentine club Estudiantes de La Plata where he was on loan from Boca Juniors. In his first two seasons, Acosta was expected to be both a playmaker and goalscorer. His fancy footwork made highlights, but it was easy for opponents to quickly shut him down without other threats in United’s offense.
The 24-year-old considered leaving United at the start of the 2018 season due to his frustration with the pressure he was under in the attack — until a gift from across the pond landed in D.C. The arrival of Wayne Rooney brought a resurgence to Acosta’s game. He finished 2018 in his best MLS form with 10 goals and 17 assists, compared to 8 goals and 16 assists in the previous two seasons combined. Acosta saw a drop in production in 2019 with six goals and two assists.
Rooney departed United to become a player-coach at Derby County in January 2020, while Acosta’s future is unknown.
Meanwhile, the club allowed defender Leonardo Jara’s loan to expire. United did not exercise the contract options of Antonio Bustamante or Marquinhos Pedroso. Pedroso was placed on waivers.
While United is bringing back a core midfield and defense — picking up options for Steven Birnbaum, Emmanuel Boateng, Russell Canouse, Oniel Fisher, Joseph Mora, Júnior Moreno, Chris Odoi-Atsem and Ulises Segura. The club is also in negotiations with goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. and forward Gordon Wild.
In addition to Acosta, Quincy Amarikwa and Jalen Robinson are out of contract. Both Amarikwa and Robinson publicly discussed their futures. Following a Twitter post suggesting that Amarikwa was on his way to Nashville SC, the MLS veteran addressed the rumors head on, saying, “I haven’t signed with a team yet. Still open to offers though.”
Robinson used his platform on Instagram to thank fans, coaches, staff and players for his six seasons with the club. The defender signed a homegrown contract with United in 2014 and spent most of his time with the club as a strong defensive option off the bench.
D.C. United roster (as of Nov. 22, 2019)
Goalkeepers (1): Chris Seitz
Defenders (5): Steven Birnbaum, Oniel Fisher, Joseph Mora, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Donovan Pines
Midfielders (10): Paul Arriola, Yamil Asad, Emmanuel Boateng, Russell Canouse, Felipe Martins, Júnior Moreno, Moses Nyeman, Ulises Segura, Griffin Yow, Chris Durkin*
Forwards (1): Ola Kamara
*Homegrown midfielder Durkin is on loan with Sint-Truidense V.V. in the Belgian First Division A until June 2020.