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No, No, Niell

[UPDATE: Pending league approval, Niell will be officially waived today.]

(Red Sox fans will understand that headline.)

Are Franco Niell's days in a D.C. United uniform (kids' size) numbered? Yes.

The diminutive Argentine forward did not travel to Columbus yesterday for the reserve match and, with the July 1 contract deadline looming, sources tell the Insider that United will release him and his inflated $150,000 salary.

He has played in seven league games, three starts, and has one assist, but has not appeared in the past six matches. His 90th-minute goal beat Pachuca in the second leg of the Champions' Cup semifinals, though it wasn't enough for DCU to advance.

After July 1, players are guaranteed their money for the season and, even if they are let go to clear a roster spot at a later day, their earnings still apply to a team's salary cap. As I understand it, however, there are wrinkles to the rule -- this is MLS, after all -- so you could see players around the league depart after that date and still be purged from a team's payroll.

Cue the Iggy Pop link.

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2008; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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