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D.C. United Signs Australian Striker

D.C. United has signed Australian striker Danny Allsopp, who was a big scorer for Notts County, Hull City and Melbourne Victory (Fred's old club) before joining Al-Rayyan in Qatar last fall. He is 31 years old and will help fill the void left by Luciano Emilio, the 2007 MLS most valuable player who won't return to Washington this season.

Allsopp, who is 6 feet 1, rose through the Australian youth national system and has three caps for the senior team.

"He's an athletic forward with a nose for the goal who will complement our other attacking players," GM Dave Kasper said.

Allsopp had six goals in 12 games in Qatar. Previously, he spent four years with the Melbourne Victory, and in 89 appearances scored 36 goals. He won the Golden Boot in 2006-07 and helped the Victory to two championships. Between 1998 and 2005, Allsopp played for five teams in England, beginning with Manchester City before going on loan to three clubs and finally signing with Notts County, where he scored 39 goals in 102 matches. He later contributed 22 goals in 64 games for Hull City.

Here's video from Qatar. Keep in mind ... it's Qatar:


By Steve Goff  |  January 18, 2010; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Well, we knew they weren't done making moves.

Don't know much about him, though the name does ring a bell from the English leagues.

Not exactly blowing my socks off, but we'll see what this signing will bring.

Posted by: ARickey | January 18, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Alright, now who else?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

hmm... we're going to need to learn how to play through balls. He seems to thrive off those. I don't know how his speed will match in this league though. Watching his videos showed me he won't score the amazing goals, but he will finish what he should. And that, for one, is something that I appreciate.

Posted by: SexyOffender | January 18, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

well, ok...we still need a first 11 striker. Allsopp seems to be a good signing but is only a small piece of what we need as a solution.

Still need a solid center back and...now we need a playmaker.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | January 18, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Danny's not a bad striker at all. I've seen him a few times here and there over the years and he's always been fundamental--if that makes sense. Not flashy, just efficient is probably a better description. He's never caught onto the Aussie side and I think was one of the players their manager Verbeek called out for playing horribly in his only recent cap. Nonetheless, he's a goalscorer and DCU needed to replace one. I just for their sake he fits into the system.

Posted by: MichaelVann7 | January 18, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen him recently so I can't honestly say if he's a good signing or not. I suspect that by signing Fred we earned some cred with other A-League players or people with contacts in the A-league.

If he's sharp enough, he could be a fine addition. The models that the Australian players have to go off of are ones that would tend to thrive in MLS. While it would be nice to get an Angel or a Donovan as a striker, the reality is that if we get a guy who can be a decent target man and solid finisher, that's HUGE for this team. If we attack consistently and if we play anything resembling the traditional DCU game of possession, we'll generate a tone of chances. That means anyone with decent finishing skills will score beaucoup goals. That's mostly what Emilio did his first year--work off the ball and score garbage or finish (with the occasional sublime score). I don't mean to diminish that. Someone like a Taylor Twellman would have eaten very well in the past if he'd been playing for DC United.

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice enough first touch in a few of those shots. That alone is an improvement over his A league predecesor.

Posted by: tcbannon | January 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Hull city fan and Danny was a cracking player for us formed a formidable partnership with Ben Burgess (now at Blackpool English Championship side). Burgess was the target man and Allsop would pick up his flicks, think he scored around 15 goals in league 2.

He can take a ball over the top on into feet and can use his head, he came close to an international call up a few time but injuries have got in his way. If my memory serves me correctly he left Hull early after injury to return to Auz as his wife was home sick.

Good player, All the best Danny.

Posted by: kevwilkie | January 18, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the perspective kevwilkie!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This video and the one from Melbourne posted at Behind the Badge seem to show a calm finishing touch -- i.e., find the back of the net the easiest way possible, don't get over-excited and slam it, and don't play for a goal-of-the-week beauty. That would be welcome. The through ball point from (ahem) sexyoffender is interesting; looks like Allsopp's been involved in a fair bit of run-and-gun soccer. But our possession style still needs good runs in the final third, which we haven't been getting lately, so there's some potential there.

Big question mark: Does Onalfo speak Australian?

Posted by: dccal | January 18, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

He's taller than Franco Niell...

Posted by: griffin1108 | January 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Allsop has been on DC's radar since the signing of Fred, in 2007 he was offered a deal with DC but chose to sign a 3 year deal with Melbourne, so they must have kept in touch and signed him now that he was free.

Posted by: elopez3 | January 18, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a slightly taller, Australian version of Taylor Twellman?

Posted by: PeterBethesda | January 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

random..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 18, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Any of you that have seen him play over the years, do you know what his speed is like? On a rating of Emilio to Donovan please.

Posted by: SexyOffender | January 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

That highlight reel is underwhelming, but it's hardly a representative sample. I'll choose optimism.

How does the Qatar league stack up against the A League? And why's he playing in Qatar? Better money or inability to stick with a club back home?

Posted by: benonthehill | January 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. Any info on salary? Are we talking N'Silu $$ or Fred $$? If N'Silu then this can't be bad, though, it's only a start.

Posted by: benonthehill | January 18, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

OK a 31 year old Australian striker now playing in Quatar?! Maybe Payne & Kasper think they will catch Seattle "Freddie Ljunberg" lightning in a bottle. The DCU player selection is getting more & more ridiculous, clearly there is no plan in place; this all reactive work. If the ownership won't purge Payne PLEASE make a change at the GM level asap. I'm waiting for the Tony Meola starting DCU goalkeeper press release to hit the wire next...

Posted by: Zipfutbol | January 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see that the FO has already replaced Fred with Castillo and now Emilio with Allsopp. Nontheless we could still use a CM and a CB.

Posted by: invncbl | January 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This is clearly a move to appeal to the massive Australian population in the DC area.

Posted by: Hoost | January 18, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

From the video he looks like he is good at playing OTC. Hopefully some of our other moves bring someone that can bounce the ball off of him well.

Given his age I can only hope the FO has learned their lesson about how much to pay aging strikers. He does appear to move faster than our last one though...

I'm willing to give him a chance and judge him based on what he does for us. I just hope they aren't putting all their eggs in this basket.

Posted by: iamgnat | January 18, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Black-and-Red Danny. Do the business, 10 - 15 goals would be a nice way to start your run with us.

I remember, vaguely, watching him in England a while back. I will judgment until I actually see you with the team. In the meantime, welcome.

VAMOS UNITED!!

Posted by: Kosh2 | January 18, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, DC! I see we solved that problem we had, buying foreign players for short term gain. This guy will be around for a good season and a half!!!

Bottom line, tired of the oldies.

Seriously, I'm still waiting for DC to wake up. Pontius shouldn't be the only player with attacking upside on our roster.

This move hints that we're shooting for the playoffs, instead of, say, competing for the conference or the supporter's shield. Aw well.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 18, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

According to Fifa 09....

Allsop's speed rates a 69, compared to
Emilio's 75.
Finishing is 70, compared to Emilio's 82...

But let me also say that this is Fifa 09, not Fifa 10, and the Luci is highly overrated in Fifa 09...

It seems that Allsop is a decent header of the ball but is a horrible passer, much in the same mold of Emilio... with a slightly better first touch...

Again, this is just a video game, so take from it what you want...
All numbers aside, it appears as though Allsop is a slightly younger version of Emilio, a goal poucher who should finish that easy one's that our playmakers set up for them. But this is clearly not the speed blazing option that so many of us keep hoping for... I'd like to see another Striker signed or a good CB or CAM... but I'm ok with Szetela and Simms in the middle, but we need depth there either way....

Let's continue to pray for Dempsey!

Posted by: BurchFan4 | January 18, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

k, who has FIFA 10? Lets get on this people, I want stats!! haha

Posted by: SexyOffender | January 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think FIFA 10 includes the Qatar league.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 18, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Dude, my overall numbers are 99 on my FIFA 09... If only DC United could sign me as the new DP.... I'm even the captain of the USMNT!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for the Tony Meola starting DCU goalkeeper press release to hit the wire next...

Posted by: Zipfutbol | January 18, 2010 1:19 PM

Jesus you're a downer, you did notice we re-signed Troy Perkins right?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

VT United makes a good point.. Allsop is probably not in Fifa 10.. both his long and short passing ratings are under 50.. although he can strike with both feet... if only he had Francis Doe's speed... :)

Posted by: BurchFan4 | January 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Highlights of 3 goals? Yawn.

Posted by: redskinsux | January 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This guy might be useful but I'll be very pleased if he scores 10 goal. He fits roughly into Emilio's position as the big forward who can occupy opposing defenders.

But he's no spring chicken and has been productive only in lower tier leagues. The team should still be looking at other options at forward.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 18, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the highlights are (down)underwhelming, at best.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 18, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Well its not national headline news or anything but he's exactly the type striker we needed, big calm finisher. Like someone else said, a Emilio-esque player, to replace Emilio at lower salary. The plus side, at least i hope, is his work rate. If he played any english ball then i'm hoping he'll work as hard off the ball as on, which can't be said about emilio, at least the 2009 version. I'm thinking same production for a cheaper price, exactly what we need especially when we need at least one more starter, possibly two.

Posted by: Brian76 | January 18, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I wonder whether he is related to the English-born TV personality Sofie Allsopp, who hosts a Canadian TV program called The Unsellables, which is rebroadcast on the HGTV channel:

http://www.hgtv.com/sofie-allsopp/bio/index.html

Posted by: universityandpark | January 18, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I have no real comment other than I hope he is a goal score who likes to run in behind back lines. I still think DC should go out and get a big, physical center back to play along side Jakovic.

We still need help in the midfield. The question remains are we going to play a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1? Right now, it seems like the FO wants Pontius to play up top, which would indicate to me we are going to play a 4-4-2 (with this new acquisition).

I say spend DP money on a center back. No clue who that could be...

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 18, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what his salary will be?

Posted by: Norteno4life | January 18, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I feel he is more of the replacement for NSilu not Emilio.

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | January 18, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I like it. He'll do well in MLS. In addition I'd love to see a couple big stud Europeans come along as well.

Posted by: AsstGM | January 18, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a decent pick-up. The team isn't likely to find top talent right now. A guy who has scored goals wherever he's played is a good addition. Maybe, he might also be a good mentor for Pontius. DCU needs someone who can put the ball in the old onion bag right now. Alsopp might be the guy.What's really needed is to find a talented playmaker who will be able to get the ball to Alsopp in dangerous positions. That will cost money and cap room. If Alsopp meets Emilio's production at half the salary cap hit, or even less, it's a great move.

Posted by: fischy | January 18, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Now a starting quality central midfielder, utility defender, and 3-4 decent players for depth and DC will have a good chance of making the playoffs.

Posted by: Dancy1 | January 18, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

old

Posted by: TheDane1 | January 18, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

If Alsopp meets Emilio's production at half the salary cap hit, or even less, it's a great move.

Posted by: fischy | January 18, 2010 4:26 PM

*********************

Fans are supposed to have big dreams. That sounds a bit far-fetched but I hope it comes true.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 18, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

On the issue of whether Onalfo speaks Australian, or "Strine," as it is called: I lived there for six months and was almost fluent by the end. It is easier to understand than to speak. "Beer" is the same in both languages.

Posted by: b18bolo | January 18, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Foster's offers a six pack course on how to speak Australian. It is reasonably inexpensive, and Onalfo should be able to afford it. :)

Posted by: invncbl | January 18, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Beer" is the same in both languages.

Posted by: b18bolo | January 18, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

...as is "Vegemite."

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 18, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Can we all at least agree that, each time Allsopp scores, we will all "Dance NOW"?

Posted by: DWE4 | January 18, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The front office needs to find some twenty something strikers with some upswing.

Posted by: ctsmithjr26 | January 18, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I like it - depending on the $ spent, of course. I'm not amazed by him but it does seem like a sound signing.

6foot1 on the front line will attract attention for set pieces - and hopefully open some opportunities. Allsopp also looks fundamentally sound in the short vids - something DCU hasn't always had in recent years.

Now, if we can just add some speed, a playmaker, central defender, and....

Posted by: inbetweenswims | January 18, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. At 31, his best scoring years are behind him. Plus he has to adjust to a new league. Not a big upside, IMO.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 18, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Any truth to the rumor that Castillo is having knee surgery?!!?

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | January 18, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

more footage on BTB.
not flashy, but a no nonsense finisher.

Posted by: Jaywag86 | January 18, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hi Guys
I have watch Danny at Melbourne Victory for the last 41/2 seasons.

He had his fans and detractors at Victory.

His strengths are his speed, strength and workrate. He was very good for Victory who play a counterattack style. When the ball can be move quickly up the field he breaks the line well and attacks defenders at pace, very good at getting into goal scoring position well and relies on simple finishes most of the time.

His weakness (& their are a few). He is not a good header of the ball, he cannot (IMO) play with his back to goal and is not the most technical player. For instance 100% of victory fans would rate Fred miles above Danny in terms of his first touch, dribbling and passing ability.

He will do ok for you if you play to his strengths but won't be a superhero. This is his scoring record at Victory

2005 20 starts 3 Goals
2006 23 Starts 12 Goals
2007 17 Starts 7 Goals
2008 24 starts 13 Goals

Posted by: brendo51 | January 18, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Castillo having surgery? Great. I thought DCU would have been very smart about the physicals they're giving their new signings. Don't need another Marcelo "Damaged Goods" Gallardo mess in DC.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Interesting observations brendo. Most United fans probably have a different view on Fred's attributes. His first season was pretty nice but has pretty much sucked since. Maybe Danny can shine a bit at least for one season coming in.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 18, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Pretty good signing. He should serve us well for a couple of years, as well as provide the veteran presence that we don't really have outside of Jaime, Perkins, and, to an extent, Tino.

If nothing else, he should be dependable and help younger guys like Pontius develop.

Good job on this one, FO! Assuming, the salary cap hit isn't astronomical...

Posted by: kdiff813 | January 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I like this pickup. I can see him having an impact like Huckerby did in San Jose.

I also think this allows us to take a chance on a young, unproven striker with the hope he'll be the next Jaime Moreno (remember '96...?).

This *should* also leave significant cap room to find an attacking midfielder. I don't think we need a new center back, but rather the ability to hold the ball in the other teams end of the field more than we did in 2008 and 2009.

Posted by: SoccerVA | January 18, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate Brendo's info, but if the guy scores a goal every other game, can't pass or dribble and has a terrible first touch, then he is just like Emilio without the curly hair and the Portuguese. Not much improvement in my opinion.

Now if he's brougt in for his work rate and ability to help teach the younger players, then the money is probably worth it. Maybe he will help teach the back line how to defend in practice.

Posted by: spata2 | January 18, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Just like with Emilio the answer to whether or not this is a good pickup depends entirely on salary. At $100k it's a good pickup. at $200k it's ok and fills a need. at $300k and above it's a bad deal.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | January 18, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

brendo51:

Thanks for the info. It sounds like Allsopp is a different kind of player from what we have available up front. He'll be our tallest forward, and generally Australian players play a physical style that meshes well with the game in MLS.

PindarPushkin:

100% agreed. Allsopp's salary will tell us everything we need to know about this deal.

***

It looks to me that Pontius, Moreno, and Allsopp will be used in a rotation (with Pontius logging by far the most minutes). It seems that Allsopp will be the more physical option, while obviously we all know what Moreno brings to the table. In terms of a diverse set of forwards, it's a good move. Whether he'll be a regular starter or coming off the bench probably depends on Onalfo's judgement of our opponent and how particular games are going.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 19, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I count 103 professional goals just in Goff's blurb. Not bad.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | January 19, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

We should also take a look at another Aussie, Nathan Burns; Dempsey like player who can create and score. He's only 21 and on loan from AEK to the Greek 2nd div.

Another interesting prospect is Kesley Alves, very skillful Brasilian striker who plays in the V-league, and became naturalized to play for the Vietnamese national team. Scored 21 goals in 22 games as the golden boot winner in his first V-league season. Even Lee Nguyen doesn't have those stats!

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 19, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Not good to hear from Brendo about Allsopp's heading abilities. We don't seem to be a threat during corner kicks. Surely tall and strong, maybe like AJ Wood was for us, except Allsopp looks like a solid finisher. Agreed, some of the defending and goalkeeping on those highlights were suspect. And indeed he reminded me of Twellman at times.
He seems to be aware of exactly where the far post is. Hope he does the same here... :-)

Posted by: DCU98_BestEver | January 19, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

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