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John In, Doe Out

You heard it here first last week, and now it is official: D.C. United has completed a trade with New England for the rights to veteran defender Avery John (American University). The Revolution received a conditional draft pick. To make roster space, United waived forward Francis Doe.

Doe's departure was all but settled Wednesday night when he wasn't included on the 18-man game-day roster for a U.S. Open Cup match -- a game in which many DCU regulars were rested. With the emergence of Chris Pontius and Ange N'Silu, Doe dropped on the depth chart this spring. Other factors were his salary ($80,000 -- very high for a seldom-used reserve) and the fact that he was on loan from an African club only until the end of this season.

John, 33, spent four years with New England, making 75 appearances (71 starts), before joining second-division Miami last year. He was on Trinidad and Tobago's World Cup squad in 2006. In need of defensive depth, United will use him as a marking back.

By Steve Goff  |  April 23, 2009; 4:18 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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As fondly as I remember his performance in that last 2008 home game, Doe was probably the one to go. Let's hope John still has some gas in his tank. We've got 5 or 6 guys who can play forward, and I wouldn't be surprised if DCU isn't out there looking for a bigger name to add in the summer transfer window. If not, we can be sure that will be a primary aim in the next offseason. Has to be disappointing for Francis, but the writing was already on the wall. Hopefully, he'll land somewhere soon.

Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that I see it's only a conditional draft pick I think it's a good move. I wonder if John comes cheaper than Doe. Perhaps we save money and open up a little space for a mid-season pickup?

Posted by: mbyrd28 | April 23, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Avery John's age and experience will help out the rest of a back line that -- if they do well -- may likely be around a lot longer than him.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 23, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Doe was doomed - too much salary, too many forwards (Quaranta, Pontius, Khumalo) who can also play midfield and his loan deal did not help.

Posted by: PhillyMLS | April 23, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

This is the first time in a long long while that I am not too worried about our defensive depth.

Is McTavish now just depth everywhere? One could argue that he isn't even first back-up at a single position on the field.

Posted by: Dancy1 | April 23, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes Francis. The two goals you scored against New England last season made my 7 year old very happy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

mbyrd28 - If I had to guess, John may make a little less or equal $ compared to Doe's salary. John made $63K with the Revs in 2007. Given that he is two years older (and on the wrong side of 30) and without a team, it could keep his salary down near that number - he may be able to bump it up to something in the Doe $80K range based on DCU's need for a LB.

Posted by: PhillyMLS | April 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Doe, Toe, Go

Posted by: Reignking | April 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Avery went to American??? Well, now, this was obviously an attendance ploy.

Posted by: Reignking | April 23, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Is he a US citizen? Green card?

Posted by: congguy | April 23, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Avery went to American??? Well, now, this was obviously an attendance ploy.

Posted by: Reignking

No one at AU knows who he is, haha. I don't think he even graduated or spent much time here.

Is he a US citizen? Green card?

Posted by: congguy

Unless he's obtained it during his stint in Miami, he is international- he was during his last years with the Revs.

Was he out of contract at Miami, or does DC have to pay a transfer fee? Just curious.

Posted by: revsfanindc | April 23, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Vienna, AUSTRIA - The Vienna Sounders of Music, have released Do from its roster. Technical director Maria Von Trapp stated, "We need to play more flexible line-ups than the traditional eight-tone scale. We were being too predictable and too easy to defend, because all of our passes would bring us back to Do. We have to look at different scales, like chromatic or pentatonic."

Reached for comment on his cell phone, Do said that he is not disappointed, "I can't be a blue note, because it's not in my nature." When asked what he will miss most about the magic triangle of Do-Re-Mi, he responded "The highlight of my career was inspiring millions of people around the world through the YouTube video in the Antwerp train station."

Do is the most recognizable of all the scale notes. While his musical career is currently at rest, he said that he plans to continue acting. He has made thousands of appearances on television as D'Oh in The Simpsons.

As Do's replacement, the Sounders of Music have signed Sa of the Hindustani Music Scale." Sa has a large fan base in the metro-west's high-tech corridor, where the team may be forced to relocate if plans for the downtown stadium are not approved.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 23, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

John will add some steel to a very soft backline. He can play in a 3 or 4 man line and competently play any of the positions. Nice pick up.

Posted by: euroman | April 23, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@I-270: Lighten up, Francis.

Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Watch Doe soar once he gets playing time, and score against us for the next... heck, the guys only 23, he could be around a long time.

As for John, he better be good for at least two seasons. I don't think he will, but he better, otherwise not a great move.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 23, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, I-270. "Traditional eight tone scale"? Didn't you get the memo? Serialism is dead. It's just so Second Viennese School.


Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 23, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@ UnitedDemon -- Are you suggesting Doe will lead the P.R. Islanders against United in CCL play?

Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 23, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 if there was a "rep" button on this blog, you would get one from me. LOL.

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 23, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Roger... John... Whatever. Glad the deal is done. I didn't dare introduce myself and give any props to Doe last night when I spotted him in the mezz. Last time I had someone sign my ticket stub, they got bounced. Good news is, it must not be run ins with me that get these guys kicked to the curb!

I wouldn't be surprised to see Doe resurface somewhere and give us a hard time. PR...Philly? I wish him luck wherever he goes. He a bit of a pitbull, but with as many young attacking options as United seems to have at the moment someone had to go. Boyzzz is still probably an incredible value. What's he getting paid anyway? Are the details of Khumalo and Janicki's transfer available yet?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I like 30 rock and all but is anyone watching NY/KC? I see the doper is back for the pink cows. Not a lot of rest for these guys when United is coming to town on Sunday, AY!?
Sure could use Hartman getting a shut out in one of my fantasy teams...;-)

I'd also throw in that the atmosphere may be a little strange in KC, but it doesn't look terrible. How much are tickets to sit in the grass behind the KC's goal this half?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of a less promising match-up. Two incredibly boring teams.

Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I was at a bar so I watched the KC-NY game. Unbelievable red card in the 2nd minute.

Posted by: Reignking | April 23, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't get this: wasn't that $10 million always part of Beckham's loan deal?


Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 23, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Juan-John | April 23, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of a less promising match-up. Two incredibly boring teams.
Posted by: fischy | April 23, 2009 10:15 PM

Watched the last 30 minutes . . . I wish I had those 30 minutes back.

Posted by: delantero | April 23, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

fischy I thought you liked baseball parks?;-) I wouldn't have watched but noticed it when we were leaving Outback, and of course had to peep what was going on for my fantasy teams, and like I said, I like 30 rock but... the kids pencil rolling down the hill on the far side of the field was a cute juxtaposition to the dark, dripping confines of RFK...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

My neighbor was just telling me this afternoon that RFK was no place to take a toddler, KC atmosphere looked just fine for super groms.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I thought it was a trade to New England, didn't read the fine print.

Still, he's got too many qualities that are in need around the league. I actually think New England would be a great team for him, Mansally sure can't do it.

Good luck wherever he lands. He has only done good things while his stay lasted.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 23, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | April 23, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Garber also said he doesn’t expect a solution to D.C. United’s stadium situation anytime soon.

“What’s the worst case scenario? We play at RFK. The team loses a lot of money, and at some point our owners are going say, `We can’t do this anymore. We’re done,”’ he said. “If they don’t get out of RFK, at some point we’re going to have to make a decision about moving that team.”

Posted by: delantero | April 23, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

why John? depth at left back. Marc Burch could very well lose his starting job. Soehn was putting Gonzalo Martinez out left last year ahead of Burch before the whole team got injured.

Posted by: churtmah | April 24, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is, (Annoyed Grunt).

Posted by: bs2004 | April 24, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Now can we please go back to a 4-4-2? 3 in the back with a stopper isn't going to work all season.

Best wishes to Doe, he was one of the standout players from last year.

Posted by: adamsunited | April 24, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse


John was out of contract.

Also, I read elsewhere that he had a green card as a member of the Revs. I'm not saying you're wrong, but apparently there is differing information out there.


Actually, John is a much better fit in a back three. This move makes it much more likely that we stay with that than revert to the 442.


KC-NY was a terrible advertisement for the league. I disagree with fischy about the Wizards being "incredibly boring"; they try to play an attacking, possession-based style. Onalfo is, at least in my opinion, the coach most willing to go for broke to win a game (for example, in games where they're losing or tied, he virtually always brings in a 3rd striker). I'm not saying they're brilliant or anything, but they're no longer the Bob Gansler Wizards that were MLS's answer to Ambien.

That said, last night would be example #1 refuting what I just said. NY goes down a man 2 minutes in (Carlos Johnson is going to make Branco look like a saint), KC scores from the spot, and the game more or less ended right then. NY reshuffled to try to keep things at 1-0, while the Wizards cycled between playing too slowly, making poor decisions, or botching critical passes. Harkes apologized for being critical of the same things, but it's hardly his fault when KC shows a combination of lack of urgency and lack of ability.

I hate to say it, but if there was any justice, NY would have equalized. KC was that bad, despite playing up a man for virtually the entire match. It's hard to imagine a team will deserve 3 points less all season.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 24, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Regarding KC/NY game last night- I think that smalll field is VERY hard to play on. Both teams had trouble keeping the ball in bounds and both teams looked off-balance the entire game. ALso, does Harkes HAVE to be so negative? Granted, he knows the game, but shouldn't an announcer "build up" the excitement instead of pointing out all the deficencies? I am a big fan of MLS, but after 1/2 hour of listening to his negativity, I began to ask myself "if this is so bad-why am I watching"? I can only think what casual soccer fans felt.

Posted by: patrick18 | April 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I fell asleep during the KC-NY match. Not that it was entirely boring, I was just tired. KC really didn't try to (warning: commentator-speak ahead) exploit their advantage.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 24, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Gosh! All I was saying is that Community America Ballpark looked like a pleasant place to be on a Thursday evening, and yes the game was so boring I probably would have been out on the hill doing pencil rolls with the kids.:-)
Either way, I was just killing time until Bridgette's Sexiest Beaches came on.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 24, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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