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United Signing Alert

Okay, the latest foreign player for United has emerged. His name is Yinka Casal, an Englishman with Nigerian family roots. He's 19 years old and has been with Fulham, primarily the reserves. He's a left-winger. Casal has joined up with United in Florida and the club is planning to sign him soon.

Other news:

-- Kiki Willis, an Elon University product who impressed at tryouts at Dulles Sportsplex a few weeks back, is on trial with the club.

-- Brad North tore a hamstring and is out five weeks.

-- Shawn Crowe sprained an ankle and is sidelined a week or two.

By Steve Goff  |  February 6, 2007; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Let's Talk USA-Mexico


Wow. All the statements of looking south of the border, and an African playing in England comes up?

Posted by: Kim | February 6, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

would Yinka be ready for the Olimpia game?

Posted by: pat | February 6, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow! And he's below 30 so he might actually be around for a bit, there's something for ya, crazy.

Posted by: Niv | February 6, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Goff: since the Euro x-fer window is closed, I assume that Casal is out of contract, and will therefore be signed as a Discovery player (leaving United's allocations intact). Any idea of what his salary level is going to be? ($100K? $150K?) Also, if the allocations aren't used, can teams still parlay allocation dollars into salary cap relief? (Gotta love those MLS rules!)

Finally, any word on his skills? Or does he have skillz?

Posted by: EdTheRed | February 6, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

A user named "casal52" used to have highlight videos of Yinka on YouTube (still show up in Google results), but they've been removed. More evidence he's signed and is no longer shopping himself around?

Fulham reserve reports indicate he's "tall" (most people are, standing next to DC's midfielders...) and scored a couple goals in reserve games. Of course, if he were amazing he wouldn't be looking for a job in the States. Goff, do you know if this is like a "Facundo Erpen" sort of acquisition or like a "Tim Lawson" sort of acquisition?

Posted by: Talion | February 6, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse


Any idea on Kiki Willis' shot at making the squad? He's a graduate of the Soccer In The Streets program and we're all keeping our fingers crossed for him. Here's a little background for anyone who hasn't seen it:

Jason Longshore
Communications Director, Soccer In The Streets

Posted by: Jason | February 6, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Don't know much about him but, as many of you have probably discovered, there's not much info out there. Which means he's a young, POTENTIALLY good player. Not in the same category as Luciano Emilio. Probably much better than Tim Lawson. We'll see...

Details to come this week

Posted by: Goff | February 6, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Kiki looked good at the tryouts. Let's see how it translates to a real pro setting. He's got a chance to earn a developmental contract, it seems.

Posted by: Goff | February 6, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Steve, right, I don't expect you to give us a scouting breakdown, but hopefully you can put the squeeze on your DCU sources since (hopefully) they know what he's capable of. For starters, he's on a senior contract, I assume? That tells us something of DC's opinion right there. And did he have to try out with the club before they agreed to sign him, did he sent them links to his Youtube, etc. There must be a story in there, since it's not like they have much of a an English league scouting apparatus...

Posted by: Talion | February 6, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I hope a 19 year old is not on a senior contract!

Posted by: pat | February 6, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I'd imagine he'd take a Youth International slot, although I don't know how they define Youth Internationals on Developmental Contracts... As for Kiki Willis, I didn't think he'd be allowed to sign without going through the draft process or being GA?

Posted by: AlecW81 | February 6, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, the last DCU Youth International on a developmental contract was Nana Kuffour.

Assuming that Casal gets a senior contract as I would guess that he would despite his age and experience, his salary could be anywhere from league minimum ($29K) to $60K if I had to guess (I believe that the last EPL reserve player to sign with MLS was Nagamura, then with LA, and his salary was in that $60K range).

With Erpen, draftee Knepe and Casal - DCU would have filled all 3 of its Youth International spots but would still have two Senior International spots remaining (with Gomez and Emilio occupying the others).

Posted by: Eric Z | February 6, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

can they have a non-GA dev contract be worth more than the senior minimum? He won't be GA and he is probably costing more than 32k so he would take a 'senior contract' and a spot on the senior roster.

Posted by: bluemeanies | February 6, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

We'd probably only sign one more Senior International before the season begins...Erpen is a YI this season, but next season he'll be an SI, I believe, so...

Posted by: Dave | February 6, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Other than Gen Ad contract players, all other developmental players either make the league minimum on a developmental contract ($12K or so) or they move up to a senior developmental contract ($17K or so).

I doubt that he would come to the USA for a $17K contract so my guess is that he would be a senior roster player making at or slightly above that minimum contract amount ($29K).

Stats on him:
DOB: 10/21/87
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185 lbs.

He certainly fits the new DCU player height requirement.

Posted by: Eric Z | February 6, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

SG - THANKS a million for this blog - hardcore DCU fans now get misty eyed everytime your name is mentioned - only thing that comes close were the old-school Dyson practice reports circa 1999 or so. Inside info is the schnizzle...

Posted by: #8 | February 6, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

some answers to above questions

the Euro transfer window has NOTHING to do with DC United signing players. only the MLS window (through March) matters.

Nana Kuffour had a green card IIRC.

Youth internationals can take fill senior international slots, but not vice versa.

The draft and generation adidas are for domestic players. Players playing amateur soccer in the USA. There are many signings over the last few years by other teams of young internationals.

Maybe he wants to be in the US bad enough to take a developmental contract. Countless players don't make it out the EPL reserves. They're not all that good. They're probably paid decent, a living wage, but not all. Are we even sure he was professional there (not sure if youth academy players can play reserves without turning pro)?

I don't think Casal ever got a shirt number at Fulham. So far he hasn't been close to first team action. At 19 many EPL teams would expect 2 more years in the reserves, but most would give the top prospects a shirt number. I'm pretty sure he's never played a first team minute.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 2:12 AM | Report abuse


Why don't you get in touch with one of the 40 Americans playing at Fulham and get the inside scoop on this kid. They'd have to know something.

Posted by: grotus | February 7, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I have to believe that the Yinka Casal situation is unrelated to the much-rumored South American signing. Yinka must be just DCU taking a flyer, like with Nana Kuffour.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Look's like he was well liked in late 05 and then seems to have been used less and less. You can run a search on his name on Fulham's website

Posted by: imevasive | February 7, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible this is a loan deal?

I look forward to your in-depth story (full with lovely anecdotes of his struggles up until now) later this week ;-)

Posted by: Lonnie | February 7, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

A Fightin' Christian playing for DC? woo hoo.

Yeah, yeah I know Elon is a University now, and is the Phoenix. But still, way to put another peg in my heart before Philly gets a team.

Elon College Class of 95

Posted by: Bryan76 | February 7, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"anon" posted that MLS only had to worry about their transfer window deadline, which "he" said ended in March. However, MLS has recently adopted a new transfer window: Jan15-Apr15

Posted by: AlecW81 | February 7, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

don't need to a quote anymore for "he", almost reads like it's insulting :). thanks for the correction, but anyway the point is the same, the transfer window hasn't closed for MLS for a while

Do we know yet if Fulham has this player under contract? Sounds like he was either a Fulham youth academy player or there on trial with the reserves by the lack of info out there on him

generally MLS doesn't accept loan deals unless they come with an option to buy the player after the season is up

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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