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Julius James to D.C. United

The Insider has learned from two sources that DCU is in the process of finalizing a trade for Houston defender Julius James. United would likely relinquish a draft pick. An announcement is possible later today.

James, 25, is a central defender from Trinidad and Tobago via the University of Connecticut who was a first-round draft pick for Toronto in 2008. He was sent to Houston this past offseason as part of the Dwayne De Rosario trade. After making 10 starts last year, he has made five starts and eight appearances for the Dynamo and was on loan with Minnesota in USL1 for two games.

With two players on trial in United camp, expect more moves in the coming weeks as the club prepares for a grueling stretch of games in MLS and Champions League plus the U.S. Open Cup final.

More later.....

By Steve Goff  |  August 14, 2009; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Friday Kickaround
Next: DCU Makes Several Moves

Comments

Didn't see that coming.
HOw'z Emilio, Quaranta, and Namoff?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 14, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Avery John and Janicki have struggled, so it makes sense to bring in another defender. I wonder who gets cut/dealt to make room.

Posted by: noptov | August 14, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Cut Avery John for the love of all things good and nice

Posted by: me_ahogo | August 14, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

terrific athlete, but can't seem to cover his man. For a defender, I consider that a little important.

Will TS be able to teach this to JJ? If so, very, very valuable. This is his 3rd team, in 2 years, I doubt it.

Posted by: J_S_F | August 14, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean talks with David Habigubera (sp) are dead?

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | August 14, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE this.

He's solid tactically, but he's a physical freak. Very strong, very fast, I like it. Now we can pull off a back four.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 14, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

But why would Houston do this? He's a key part of their Very strong defense, and this does nothing but strengthen us.

Surely Houston wanted more out of this than a draft pick? I would like to know a reason.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 14, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it - but for as old as Avery John is - he's a better roster piece than Greg Janicki. Unfortunate for Greg. He seemed to be a good up-and-comer last year on a team in free fall. However, he can't really be expected to keep his position in this club in this league with the blunders he's made this year.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | August 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

in the few Houston matches I have seen he has been beaten for goals several times. Not sure this really helps us.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

That's from left field. James, played right back for Houston, no? That's the one spot we don't need help with. Can he play left back? No chance of getting Boswell back, instead? I suppose Avery John will be let go, so I hope James can play the left side.

I posted a comment here earlier in the week about how James looked positively pathetic when Blanco took the ball from him on the end line, sending James sprawling, and allowing Blanco to cross it for a spectacular volley goal.

Let's hope James can do better than that. This makes the second time he's been traded in his 2 years in the league. Not a promising sign for a guy who was considered the top defender in his draft class. On the other hand, he's got the blessed "potential" tag....If he realizes that potential, this would be a great trade. I love that DCU is trying to build a talented young core to go forward with.

Now -- about these two trialists...we had a discussion yesterday about one -- Adam Smarte from the Ventura Fusion. Who is the other?

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Or does this signal Janicki's departure?

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I'll answer my own question -- I assume the other trialist is Shipilane.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the other trialist the guy from Harrisburg? Shipilane or something like that?

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | August 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@UnitedDemon : Have you seen him play? Tactically solid ? He's sorta like Mikael Sylvestre during his early days and you can't be a good player just because you rely on your athleticism.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | August 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@Demon -- I can see why Houston would make this deal. James has not been a vital part of their defense. He's played in a third of their games, and started less than a quarter of them. They don't imagine this will make United a fearsome opponent in the MLS Cup finals.

Also, Houston might want to stockpile picks. If reports are true, Clark already has a deal with Livorno that starts in January. So, they're already losing one key midfielder. I've got a hunch they may be getting a number of transfer requests for Holden following next summer's World Cup. So, Houston will have to do some retooling of their own.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

From Janicki and John, he's an upgrade. Jakovic would have to worry about far less.

Would you rather have a slow athlete prone to mistakes, and with a fetish for pointless fouls? John.

Or a man who, I swear to God, gave the match to Cummings? Or the one who kept clearing the ball FIVE FEET AWAY in another match? Janicki.

I said "solid" because, in this league, if you have any sense of positioning, you are "excellent." Those who are directly responsible for failure, and have no identifiable talent are "awful." The only two who haven't been overall "awful" this season for us are Namoff and Jakovic. That's not enough.

This kid has talent, and if nothing else, he is very athletic. With our defense as it is, I'll take it.

I think we'll benefit from this almost immediately.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 14, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@fischy - I thought the same about Julius James on the Blanco assist last week.

Julius James plays RB, not LB, so this doesn't seem like a solution to that issue, unless the team tries converting him. We really don't have anyone who can back up Namoff though, so this does help the team.

We've only got one senior roster slot open, so that means TWO of the following must be true:
1. DC will not be signing David Habanagira or whatever
2. DC will not be signing Ty Shipilane
3. DC will be sending a player to Houston as part of this trade
4. Someone is getting cut. Likeliest target is N'Silu if Shipilane signs on.

I'm not sure I see DCU cutting a defender. Janicki and John will probably both be here through the end of the season. After that, probably not.

Most of all though, I'm curious to see what/who we are giving up in this trade. I think this past offseason proved that first round draft picks can be very valuable, so hopefully we're trading away nothing higher than a 3rd and maybe some allocation money. Unless maybe there is a DC player involved in the deal also? Houston has the best midfield in the league, so I'm not sure who we have that they'd be interested in.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 14, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Why are some of you getting excited over Julius James? He's been traded twice in less than a year for a reason. He's a physical freak with no brain for soccer. he was NOT a key part of Houston's defense. Actually if you saw Blanco school him the other day, you'd see why he was traded. He's also not a kid anymore. At 25 years old, he probably doesn't have a career ahead of him as a starting player in this league.

Posted by: hendrix | August 14, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Interesting move to make prior to the RSL match on Saturday. With Mulrooney and Robinson already out, I'm not sure who they're planning on starting in the backline. Rio Tinto's a tough place to play and while James has been error prone, he's better than nothing.

Posted by: TheMc | August 14, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The more I think about this deal, the more sense it makes to me. Janicki was lost in our 3-man backline, because he is not athletic enough or good enough of a soccer player. He can be a good defender, if he's not asked to stop fast guys like Robben or to distribute the ball. With CCL matches coming up against speedy Latin sides, Janicki was looking like an increasingly weak choice.

James, whatever his deficiencies may be, is a great athlete, and a pretty gifted soccer player, for a defender. If we're going to stick with the 3-man back line, he's a much better choice to start in the center than Janicki. James could be much more valuable for United than he was for Houston. United has a lot of games coming up. Everyone is going to need some time off. James should be a good fit for our scheme.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean talks with David Habigubera (sp) are dead?

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | August 14, 2009 10:29 AM
*********************

That's the question I have, too.

Our defense needs help, even Bryan Namoff needs some rest every once in a while and we're looking at a ton of games in the next month or two.

I doubt DC United cuts a defender to make room for James unless we also have Habanavillage pretty much locked up.

It could be Havanagilah's signing hit a snag over money issues, or more likely, ran into a major bureaucratic roadblock over getting him a proper visa.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys,

TFC fan over here and I have watched him play many games and he is athletic period. I can assure you, if you give him playing time you will see that he is a liability. I have no clue how this guy was that highly touted, but I am guessing that he was just that much more athletic in college because he is not a good player. Please play him tomorrow :)

Posted by: zoran1 | August 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

One more thing to add.

Yes, we could use a good starting quality left fullback. So could about 12 other teams in MLS. There are not a lot of them readily available at the right price.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 14, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

All of James's starts for Houston have been at CB -- five in the league and two in the CCL back in Feb. When he played in Toronto, he made seven starts at CB, 3 at RB and one at LB. So it seems like he has at least enough versatility to not be overwhelmed at any of the defensive spots. Not sure I like the frequent movement from club to club, but hey, getting traded means someone wants you, right?

Posted by: mjhoya12 | August 14, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

SI twitter feed reporting: James trade confirmed, Belgian defender (Habarugira) signed, N'Silu placed on injured list (out 6 games). Details on Insider soon

Posted by: the_slammer | August 14, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

All of James's starts for Houston have been at CB -- five in the league and two in the CCL back in Feb. When he played in Toronto, he made seven starts at CB, 3 at RB and one at LB. So it seems like he has at least enough versatility to not be overwhelmed at any of the defensive spots. Not sure I like the frequent movement from club to club, but hey, getting traded means someone wants you, right?

Posted by: mjhoya12
*************************

Good observation. In DC's 3-5-2 the defenders stay pretty central and don't push up as much as the right or left fullback would be expected to do in a 4-4-2 formation.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 14, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Great news. HabanothershotofTequila?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 14, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, slammer. It will be interesting to see what Soehn does with these new pieces. I still don't think they're done -- I expect they will find a slot for Shipilane.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "James"?!

"I'll sing myself to sleep
A song from the darkest hour
Secrets I can't keep
Inside of the day
Swing from high to deep
Extremes of sweet and sour
Hope that God exists
I hope I pray..."

James, "Sit Down," circa early 90s

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 14, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

oof - party boy missing the game this weekend and in honduras with a strain.

Posted by: joe_hill | August 14, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

DCU twitter reporting the James trade is for a 3rd round pick in the 2012 SuperDraft. Good value by DCU in my opinion.

Posted by: the_slammer | August 14, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's what Goff first reported on Habarugira:

"play(s) in the middle but (has) experience on the corners."

Ya gotta believe that these moves represent upgrades over Janicki/John/Burch. If nothing else though, the new blood will help keep our defense fresh.

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the news is coming in fast and thick. A sure sign August recess is almost over...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 14, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully -- "James" will not evoke the Bangles song of the same....

"I knew it'd turn out like this
I'm keeping one foot on the train
I must be a masochist
to ever take up with you James
It sounds familar that tone
in your voice
Your gonna quit James you leave me no choice

oh James
lettin' me down again James

Well it wasn't so long ago
I saw love in your eyes
And I think I should have known
but I'm feeling somewhat surprised
You think there's someone better for you
You think I'm too young to see this thing through

(chorus)

I knew it'd turn out like this
I'm keeping one foot out the door
And I don't think I should trust
that kind of love anymore
And now I realize I had it all wrong
I'll only take this sh*t for so long

oh James
Lettin' me down again
James
Guess it's goodby again
James
Lettin' me down again
Lettin' me down again
James

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

so when he was at Houston, was he known as the "Orange Julius"?

Posted by: troy6 | August 14, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: benonthehill | August 14, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

no way JoeDoc, you've posted those lyrics before. I had that song in my head for weeks thereafter, even teaching them to my kids. this time I should be immune to them.

Instead, how about:

My therapist said not to see you no more
She said you're like a disease without any cure
She said I'm so obsessed that I'm becoming a bore, oh no
Ah, you think you're so pretty

(good for all those with man crushes on cristiano ronaldo)

Posted by: troy6 | August 14, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

We've only got one senior roster slot open, so that means TWO of the following must be true:
1. DC will not be signing David Habanagira or whatever
2. DC will not be signing Ty Shipilane
3. DC will be sending a player to Houston as part of this trade
4. Someone is getting cut. Likeliest target is N'Silu if Shipilane signs on.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 14, 2009 11:15 AM |
______________________________________________

I guess one out of four ain't bad. ;)

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 14, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Troy. Guess I need some new material.

Did someone say "material"?!

"Valerie's dancin', on the room above my bed, you know
For all of the world below to see
Valerie's leaving, in a car outside my house, you know
Such a shame she's not with me and all the pretty things
And all the love my heart would bring
I would give my whole life to her
Valerie loves me!"

Material Issue, "Valerie Loves Me," circa 1991

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 14, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

We are all grateful that you didn't quote Material Girl.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 14, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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