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D.C. United Updates

*Second-year defender Mike Zaher has been let go. He will pursue opportunities on the West Coast, presumably in the USL. Zaher is a left back, and with veteran Marc Burch and first-round pick Rodney Wallace on the roster, his chances of making the final roster were slim.

*The goalkeeping situation remains the same and the club will continue to evaluate the group next week. Louis Crayton is safe as the starter, but rookie Milos Kocic, trialist Nic Platter and returning developmental keeper James Thorpe are vying for two slots. (Platter is not eligible for a developmental contract.) Mike Graczyk, acquired from Colorado in the Christian Gomez trade, was let go last week.

*The roster deadline is Monday -- sort of. Teams can continue to look at players and make signings after that date. However, if a club has, say, 10 international players under contract or an abundance of signed developmental players, it must cut down by Monday.

*Sunday's friendly against Maryland in College Park is on. Kickoff is 1 p.m. However, if the dreaded wintry mix severely impacts playing conditions, the teams will not hesitate to call off the game. No sense risking injury for an exhibition.

Much more to come after training this afternoon.....

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Good luck Zaher, you're another guy I really liked last year, let go.
Who's left from 2008? Quaranta and Crayton? Miller (still can't figure out what he offers)?

Posted by: dcufan | February 27, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

We should look to Johnny Steele (PR Islanders) as the replacement for Benny Olsen. Steele was magnificent last night against Santos; he's got the workrate, serves excellent crosses and even sometimes manages to create scoring chances.

Also take at look at their right back Cristian Arrieta, as he would be an improvement over Namoff.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 27, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I was confused about Santos, it was actually Marathon. Santos played wed night against Montreal.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 27, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought Zaher was really coming along... this Miller kid must be just as good and ought to feel fortunate that he is right footed and Zaher is left footed... but I saw this coming when they gave Miller a jersey number earlier in the week.

Posted by: BurchFan4 | February 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

dcufan:

Miller gives us a backup for Namoff, as well as a defensive option at right midfield. Since Soehn apparently sees McTavish as a center back for some reason, we had to keep someone that could play on the right.

***

This isn't really a surprise. Zaher is good enough to make a career for himself in the game. If he's headed to the west coast, he should take a shot at San Jose. Eric Denton is still somehow starting there.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 27, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is an encouraging sign for Mediate... he provides more depth than Zaher did.

Posted by: Dynaformer | February 27, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I havent seen Wallace play, but IMO Zaher was a better natural fit for LB, his defense was better, and his endurance to come back after sprinting up field was waaay better than Burch who completely fell off after 07'. All he has over Zaher is his left foot, which we better pray is back on point....

Another mistake by our FO.....

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | February 27, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

dcufan: Who's left from 2008?

I agree. I find it pretty interesting that of all the players the team brought in during the season last year, only a few have survived.

1. Crayton (G)
2. Doe (F)
3. Janicki (D)
4. Khumalo (F)
5. Thorpe (G)

Players who where only with United for the 2008 season:
1. Carroll, Pat (D)
2. Carvallo (G)
3. Cordeiro (M)
4. Gallardo (M)
5. Guerrero (D/M)
6. Kirk (M)
7. Martinez (D)
8. Niell (F)
9. Peralta (D)
10. Stratford (M)
11. Thompson (M)
12. Vide (M)
13. Zaher (D)

I don't count Quaranta in this group. He's played for United for a number of seasons.


Posted by: TCompton | February 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Good left backs are hard to find. I'd have to think some MLS club will pick up Zaher just for depth at the position. Good luck, Mike.

Posted by: joedoc1 | February 27, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

At least we won't have to listen to Max Bretos among others butcher MZ's name anymore... Later Zaher.

@Charisma man: I think the thought on Olsen's replacement is a combination of Jacobsen/Quaranta...? Correct me if I'm wrong someone. Hope the weather stays nice enough for everybody on Sunday.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 27, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I havent seen Wallace play, but

Another mistake by our FO.....

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | February 27, 2009 12:59 PM

Wow. Another overstatement based on "I haven't seen _X_ play"... Burch is kept on because he has more experience, has a particularly valuable skill, and somewhat greater versatility than Zaher. Wallace kept on because he has gobs more potential, and might be better already ("I haven't seen him play..."). And Mediate kept on because he has more experience and more versatility. Zaher might develop into an MLS-class player, but the FO is limited by the reduced roster size. They made the right decision.

Posted by: fischy | February 27, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, actually bolivianDCFan is right, they shouldve kept Zaher, he was the only full back player, besides namoff who likes to come up and attack (Reminds me of an Ashley Cole) with the lack of wingers we have, we shouldve kept him and see how he fares.

Posted by: DCUHitman | February 27, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The debate here is really Zaher vs. Miller... not Burch, Wallace, or Namoff

Posted by: BurchFan4 | February 27, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Zaher plays on the left. Miller plays on the right. Apples and oranges.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 27, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Would think that our DC Cast off Zaher might do rather well in the Champions League with a USL team . . . he held his own against Saprissa . .

My only thought is that he may not have been as versatile as others on the roster, but given how porous our defense was, who really cares about versatility?

Wallace, etc, better step up.

Posted by: delantero | February 27, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised there is so much howling over Zaher. I doubt he'll be as good as Eric Denton ever was/is. If you can't beat out Burch you won't be missed.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | February 27, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think this is more about the economics of building a roster than it is about performance unfortunately.

The reduction in roster size makes it a little easier in making these decisions. Soehn needs to have direct replacements for each position pretty much.

Marc Burch has apparently locked down the starting left defender spot. He's young, has earned plenty of minutes, can get forward, and can provide a threat on crosses as well as set pieces.

So, Zaher and Wallace are fighting for the back-up spot right now. Wallace is about 3 years younger than Zaher, so he's got a bigger up-side. Plus, Wallace is Generation Adidas, so he doesn't count against the cap.

I'm sure the team would have liked to keep both, but with a reduced roster, it's pretty tough to make those decisions when they need someone to back up McTavish, Janicki, and Namoff as well.

Posted by: TCompton | February 27, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Can someone tell me whats so good about Domenic Mediate and Ryan Miller? Mediate NEVER steps up to the plate and has nothing special about him. and Ryan Miller? got cut from the Columbus Crew...what does he provide to the team? none of those 2 players are people we need who can come off the bench and Change the tempo of the game.

Posted by: DCUHitMan10 | February 27, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Mediate NEVER steps up to the plate "

The infield was removed from RFK before last season.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 27, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Meaning...he never contributes, he doesnt do ANYTHING.

Posted by: DCUHitMan10 | February 27, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Would think that our DC Cast off Zaher might do rather well in the Champions League with a USL team . . . he held his own against Saprissa . .

My only thought is that he may not have been as versatile as others on the roster, but given how porous our defense was, who really cares about versatility?

Wallace, etc, better step up.

Posted by: delantero | February 27, 2009 2:06 PM
____________________________________________

EXACTLY!
_____________________________________________


I'm surprised there is so much howling over Zaher. I doubt he'll be as good as Eric Denton ever was/is. If you can't beat out Burch you won't be missed.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | February 27, 2009 2:09 PM
_____________________________________________

IMO he did.

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | February 27, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

TC Compton:

you forgot Wells, and Thorpe may end up being cut if Kocic decides to stay.

Posted by: jjfooty | February 27, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad DC United is taking their business elsewhere. I hope the Nats continue to do the same.

Just say no to voting rights for District residents.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | March 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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