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Jacobson Update: He's Gone

Just got off the phone with United GM Dave Kasper, who tells me that, as of last night, rookie midfielder Andrew Jacobson was set to arrive in Bradenton tomorrow to join the club for training camp.

An hour ago, Jacobson called Kasper to tell him he had signed with French club Lorient.

Ugh.

"It's disappointing, but there is always a risk of drafting a player who is unsigned by the league," Kasper said. "He told me [last week] that he had this French trial set up for some time and he wanted to see it out, but that he planned to play in MLS. He sounded excited abou coming here."

Kasper said United received no indication before drafting Jacobson that he might pursue European opportunities. "I spoke to his agent before the draft and he never brought it up," Kasper said. The day after the draft, Jacobson told the team about other options.

As I'm sure United supporters recall, the club lost draftee Jay Needham last year when the SMU defender declined D.C.'s contract offer and signed with the USL1's Puerto Rico Islanders.

With Jacobson out of the picture, Kasper said fellow rookie Dan Stratford of West Virginia is projected to fill the same deep midfield position (assuming Stratford makes the cut). However, Stratford is from England and Kasper confirmed that he may have opportunities back home. "He's told us he wants the opportunity to play for us and that MLS is his first priority." Like Jacobson, Stratford did not sign with MLS before the draft. The only DCU draft pick who did sign in advance was Connecticut winger Ryan Cordeiro.

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  January 30, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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