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The Trade, the Poll

Some thoughts on the United-Union trade that brought Troy Perkins back to D.C.......

*D.C. needed a goalkeeper -- badly. Even when healthy, Josh Wicks was not the long-term solution. The jury is still out on Milos Kocic. Bill Hamid is, at the moment, a prospect. Like a great goal scorer, a goalkeeper can single-handedly win (or lose) a game. With Perkins wanting to return to the States with his wife and child, it made perfect sense for him to return to Washington and for United to welcome him with open arms. Although Perkins is the clear No. 1 keeper, Kocic and Hamid (or whoever else the club signs) might end up playing significant minutes this summer if Perkins makes the U.S. World Cup squad.

*Assuming Christian Gomez doesn't return, United will have shed more than $1.5 million in payroll this winter: Ben Olsen ($225,000) retired, Luciano Emilio ($759,000) was not renewed and left for Brazil and Fred ($257,000) is off to Philly. Gomez made $321,000 in 2009. True, Cristian Castillo arrived (maybe $150,000?) and Perkins seems likely to earn $200,000-plus. Nonetheless, United has some cash to throw around in search of overseas help.

*Leverage is nice: Thanks to its standing atop the allocation list, Philadelphia now has two of the top seven selections in the draft (Nos. 1 and 7) and a veteran -- though underachieving -- starting midfielder (Fred) as well as additional allocation funds. And for what? By giving up its place in the allocation order. Well played, Mr. Nowak.

So the big question is.....

By Steve Goff  |  January 14, 2010; 2:29 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United Acquires Perkins
Next: Thursday Kickaround


If you can't finish...and your goalkeeper is lose in soccer.
It doesn't matter at all how much you possess the ball.
Since Perkins left, we have given up 3 bad goals for every great save...a terrible, terrible ratio and it's the biggest reason why we haven't made the playoffs in two years.
Oh...and we can't finish...

so which is cheaper...a really good GK (he's now argueably the best in the league) or a stud striker?

How much did we spend on Emilio again? Moreno? Gomez?

All teams in the world place the highest value on they should...many however overlook goalkeeping as a necessity of a championship team.
How many championship teams have crap goalkeepers?

DC Fans....we gave up a draft pick(always a roll of the dice) and a guy that has a terrible first touch and is rarely healthy...oh..and he earns a high salary.
Fred is fools gold...looks results...
I'm doing cartwheels....WOW...

Posted by: matthewjfyoungs | January 14, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

oh...and Bradley is an idiot if he picks Perkins as our #3 GK for the World Cup when he has Marcus M starting for a Premiership team as an option.
I'd be surprised if Perkins is picked over Marcus because our #2 is inexperienced. Picking a green #3 is fine when you your top two are veterans.

Posted by: matthewjfyoungs | January 14, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm going with even.

We got the best player involved in the deal (since the #7 pick, barring a miracle, will not be contending for a spot on the World Cup roster, and we know Fred wouldn't be if he was a US citizen), and filled our weakest position. We also dropped a player that, no matter what you thought of him, made more against the cap than he was worth (especially with Quaranta and Castillo aboard). There was no reason to keep Fred here, making a large amount of money, when he was probably just going to be a sub most of the time. We do need to replace him, but we can do that at a much lower price.

Philly, meanwhile, gets a 1st round pick that will likely turn into an oft-used but not essential sub, Fred (probably a starter, but we all know how inconsistent he is and how Nowak loves reliable players), and some mystery amount of cash. Philly needs to build a roster, so the draft pick is a bigger deal to them than to us.

The cash, if it's a lot, might tilt the deal slightly in their favor, but to me this is a deal in which both teams have gotten things they needed and gave up things they didn't.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 14, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

So we gave up the #7 pick in the draft..BIG DEAL!. How many 7th picks have even made it in MLS? We gave up Fred...BIG DEAL! Were you really ready to give him another season. I was...but only grudgingly and solely out of desperation. He has been a huge disappointment the last two seasons. The money is the only thing that I could complain about with any sincerity, and it seems we have shed a lot of payroll, so.....

Posted by: asocrlovr | January 14, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

For me, thi was an extremely good move for United. An excelent keeper is worth his weight in gold, and given the motive for Perkins's return (family reasons v. 'can't find a job' reasons)it looks like he may be a mainstay in goal for years and years to come.

Fred- I woulda released him after last year, in order to use his salary money on someone else. If you can line up a solid replacement, Fred departing could be a net plus. #7 picks are nice, but not to be compared to a goalie like Perkins; he is what you hope and dream that your #7 might turn into.

Posted by: morganallanp | January 14, 2010 4:27 AM | Report abuse


I'm not sure about, "Kocic and Hamid...playing significant minutes this summer if Perkins makes the U.S. World Cup squad". Isn't MLS suspending league matches during the group stages, June 10th-June 25th? And especially if the USA fails to make it out of group stage play...

Posted by: redskinsux | January 14, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

Ah...perhaps the intensive training will limit his availability to United, eh?

Posted by: redskinsux | January 14, 2010 4:48 AM | Report abuse

While the return of Perkins does fill a mammoth question mark about the team, I am worried that it essentially cost DC two other players (Fred and the draftee). Yes, the comments about Fred's value are valid, but I am going to have to reserve judgement until I understand what else the front office has in store. With only one major off-season signing so far, I am hopeful that the FO has their eyes set on a handful of additional signings to bolster the ranks.

Posted by: freeholdsouth | January 14, 2010 4:56 AM | Report abuse

United filled a major need. Unless the front office makes another deal, United doesn't have a draft pick until the third round.

Posted by: ctsmithjr26 | January 14, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Even if we got jacked in this trade, and I don't think we did, sometimes you need to overpay to get what you need. This is one of those times. We needed a quality keeper. Period. And as quality keepers go, Perkins is probably on the mid - lower end of the pay scale. Not cheap, but affordable.
Now we need to get "jacked" again and get a first-class goal scorer. Or we damn-well better have someone in mind to bring in to score goals for us.

Posted by: rcdwriting | January 14, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, Onalfo's glowing comments about Fred now make sense. It was marketing, and it worked like a charm. Last season showed Fred is clearly past it.

A #7 draft pick? Who cares. Chump change.

We gave up NOTHING in exchange for a real fix to our goalkeeper situation. AND we cleared significant salary space in the process.

DC United stole Nowak's pressed and starched shirt on this one.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 14, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey Steve...don't believe the hype about print newspapers and their dwindling influence. Your headline in the print version just made my jaw drop! back to my coffee now

Posted by: DCB23 | January 14, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Both GMs and fan bases have every right to be pleased.

The measly $900k United originally got for Perkins was an outrage, but it looks like DCU gave up less than that to get him back!

The big winner, once again, may be Perkins... He was let go so cheaply because he was set on going to Europe, and now he and his family got their wish again.


Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | January 14, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

"and Bradley is an idiot if he picks Perkins as our #3 GK for the World Cup when he has Marcus M starting for a Premiership team as an option."


So, what does that say about his eternally pine-riding #2 GK?

The important thing is that USA has a dominating #1 GK and no less than 3 perfectly legit backups.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | January 14, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

A top-notch GK will help this team a LOT.
The draft, while occasionally useful, is not is any way like the NFL. It is helpful for getting college "talent" but a majority of those guys don't pan out or end up in lower European to me a minor loss.
Fred, while he had his moments, like in the US Open Cup in 2008, is not a major loss in my eyes. Hurts the depth and talent level but, not the real direction of this I voted even and I almost feel DCU got the better part of this as far as what they need.

Posted by: marksman37 | January 14, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I was curious to see Fred in an attacking central midfield role, which I believe is where he had success in Australia. But I would much rather have a solid goalkeeper. The No.7 pick is a role of the dice on rookie, and what we need is to fill some starting positions.

I fully expect some latin american signings in the next 2 weeks. I hope they're good, because our season depends on it.

Posted by: Brokefoot | January 14, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Farewell Fred. Thanks for your time here at DC.

The Perkins trade was necessary, and we paid what he was worth. I feel much better about DC with Troy in goal.

In my opinion: so far so good. What remains to be seen is how well our new coach does in filling the other holes in our roster. I hope he opts for youth...we need speed and future.

Posted by: Wiggan | January 14, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

The #7 pick isn't a big deal? That's not what we were complaining about last year. Last year, all I heard was how this team had no young prospects and no hope for the future.

Right now, it seems like we gave up too much. I would've thought 2 of the 3 would've been suffice. Once we see who that #7 pick is, I think we'll change our minds. Perkins is going to be better than Fred+prospect.

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

No comment.

Posted by: dcarmy | January 14, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

If you take a long term view of Perkins you get the following:

-Sold for 750k

Reacquired for:
-Fred (257,000)
-First round draft pick + some cash

From an investment standpoint, DC makes out. From an immediate needs perspective, DC loses.

I think we at least broke even on this trade and maybe even did a little bit better.

Posted by: strago | January 14, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I think the Union got the better of the deal but DCU did extremely well. Here's why I conclude that:

--an expansion team got another high pick. Given the state of their roster, they have a chance of getting 3 players in the first 18 picks (and 2 in the first 7) who contribute to their team. If they choose wisely, it's a good foundation (think: the Fire's first year when they drafted Josh Wolff).

--they got a versatile and skilled veteran who knows MLS and has some grit (always important for nowak-coached team and an expansion side).

--they gave up a player they didn't have and weren't going to sign.

--realistically, the top spot for the NT allocations wasn't going to be useful to Philly. Given Seattle's performance last year, Philly probably can't afford to leave the cap space to sign a NT-player for mid-season (like a DMB or Adu or Bocanegra who might decide to come home).

So to sum it up, Philly got themselves 2 players who probably either start for their team or make the top 13-14 players. For an expansion team, that's BIG.

For DCU, they could have gotten a GK just about anywhere (within MLS, maybe tried harder for Cronin or another USL player, gone international, etc.). But what Perkins gives them is "fit." You know he'll adjust to MLS. You know he'll work well with Simpson. You know he won't have a problem with the US or DC and adjusting to the lifestyle. You know his game (it's not just a couple of video tapes and a visit to 1 or 2 games). And he's not just a good GK, he's probably the best GK in MLS now (though Keller, Onstad, Thornton and Ricketts might have something to say about that). Most of all, the single biggest issue for DCU has been in goal. A mediocre or inconsistent or wild GK is a morale-buster. On a defense that isn't full of talent, not-trusting your GK leads to poor play and a lack of confidence. You saw it in 2008 when Zach Wells would give up a goal and heads would hang--the team BELIEVED they would give up soft goals.

Summary for DCU: Unless someone like Buffon or Friedel suddenly announced a desire to move to the greater DC area, Perkins is probably (for all the reasons above) the single best fit in goal available. And the team got him for a draft pick that wasn't likely to start (unless we're a bad team this year) and a midfielder who I feel wasn't likely to start and resulted in a lower cap. That's a really good deal.

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 14, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Ben Olsen is the big loser. With his new salary, Troy won't have to pay rent to live in Ben's basement this time around.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | January 14, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Goff, you posted this at 2:29 AM. When do you sleep?

Posted by: DCUSince96 | January 14, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I can't provide the excellent deep analysis that others have provided. Just my thoughts, but initially I thought we way overpaid. Now my thought is that we paid a high price, but a justifiable one. Props to Nowak for getting a good price.

I am concerned that we only have a fourth round pick in a draft that is considered a deep draft. Hopefully the possible foreign acquisitions will pan out.

Please cut Wicks ASAP. I've been turned off by him with his crap episodes and the slap on the wrist punishment he got.

Posted by: OnTheEdge2 | January 14, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Philly, only because they probably had no intention of wanting Perkins anyway.

Posted by: torrey151 | January 14, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I voted DC, but ONLY if they can use all that money wisely and get someone who can put the ball in the back of the net consistently.

Posted by: forpat | January 14, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I voted even. Troy should be a great addition to our roster. And should Namoff be healthy, him, Jakovic, Burch, and Wallace on a backline is something I like.

Fred, thanks for your service, you seem like an excellent person and one can only wish that you find health and form in Philadelphia. But, I'll risk you having a good year to acquire Perkins.

The #7 pick, while I think DC gambles and gives up the chance to build through the draft, it seems as though the club has admitted that their top targets will be gone by #7. So, it's better to go out and sign some other talent anyway.

Kasper, it's now up to you and Kurt to properly evaluate and sign some new guys who can come here and really get after. My hope is that United has scouted it's competition in the CCL and SuperLiga the last few years and finally has a proposition to procure some of those guys.

Cautiously optimistic. Irregardless, glad to have Troy back in between the pipes.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Philly got the better deal. Doesn't mean DC was shafted but Philly didn't want Perkins anyway and they parlayed that into Fred and a first round pick. That's good for now. And you know if anyone can get something out of Fred, it's Peter. You think Fred would see the field if he doesn't get back on defense?

Posted by: tundey | January 14, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Given that DC is seriously lacking young talent, giving up the 7th pick is not chump change. Pontius was the 7th pick last year, with Alston, Frei, and Hall on the board.

Sure giving up Fred and his salary is fine, but DC overpaid.

Also, are they really competing for a championship this year?

Santino and Pontius are the only guys on the roster in the top 10 in the league at their positions. Everyone else is a journeyman.

They need new young talent to build around.

Nowak 1, Onalfo 0.

Posted by: srfinger | January 14, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Goff, the big question is not who got the better deal, it's "is this a good trade for DCU?". The answer to that is "yes."

Posted by: BarraPuta | January 14, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to find a goal-scoring striker, a atacking midfielder, and a center back.

That makes 3 STARTING CALIBER players that we need to aquire within the next month or so. And just for good measure another good midfielder as a sub, because honestly our bench is one of the weakest in the league.

On another note, have you guys seen the new DCU jerseys? Their for sale at the DCU Team store on

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | January 14, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

SRFinger, are you kiddin?

Namoff Top 5 Fullback
Jakovic Top Ten Centerback
Simms Top 3 CDM
Perkins Top 3 GK

Who knows where Pontius, Wallace, Szetela, and Castillo will rank.

This is a good trade.

Posted by: alecw81 | January 14, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

or if you want to see the new duc jersey go to

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | January 14, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm reposting this from the last thread, slightly edited...

I'd make the trade at the end of any long day, as Troy will be good for a couple key saves a season more than Wicks and the difference in how organized the defense will be is invaluable. I don't feel bad about having Julius James starting in central defense if Perkins is keeping him on track/can take care of anything that comes into the box.

With Wicks in goal not only would defense be considered a glaring deficiency, but we'd also be liable to play a couple to a few games a year down a man with a backup keeper in after Wicks gets red carded. The #7 draft pick would likely have ended up as an understudy somewhere on the field AND we wouldn't want a rookie (or Fred) giving away the ball in the final third to start counter attacks that would force Wicks to come out. That's a recipe for another very frustrating season.

Perkins wants to RAISE HIS CHILDREN here and his wife is likely to get a job in the area. He's not going back to Europe anytime soon and he's almost definitely not leaving DC. Perkins could be our starting 'keeper for 10 years to come, so we basically just picked up the best goalie in the league who will play full-time for longer than what most of these rookies' ENTIRE CAREERS will be.

I voted even, because Nowak drove a hard bargain and got everything he needed out of this as well. Really, this trade just improved both teams.

Posted by: TassieTiger | January 14, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The hot stove better be on FIRE for Payne and Kasper because there's only two weeks left for them to make some magic happen with over seas transactions. And if they're hoping to poach someone away before the season who is just out there available.... good luck their track record is abysmal(see '08 offseason).

Posted by: inzzo79 | January 14, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

As much as we gained from Perkins, Nowak got more. The man now has the 1st and 7th picks, and every first pick from then on, a playmaker who has enough talent to make life easier for less technical players, and money. He's going to get a good bite out of this draft, we get a starting goalkeeper. From a expansion side perspective, he's a good step ahead.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 14, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Someone remind me of the success/failure rate of people returning to DC United?

Moreno-obvious success.
Olsen (from loan) injured for a year and a half, turned into obvious success.

Convey (abortive transfer to Spurs)-fail.

Quaranta-jury is out.

You could expand this to returnees to MLS from abroad and find a similar success/fail rate, if not worse. I'll believe in Perkins when I see that he's gotten better than he was before. If he's still the same Perkins that was here when he left, I don't think we can count on him to be the solid backbone we so obviously need. And I don't think Mark Simpson will be the person to coach him up to the next level.



Posted by: jayrockers | January 14, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

A #7 pick, even in this marginally stronger than usual draft field, is FAR from a surefire guaranteed starter. Higher pipcks have been flops in MLS. Even the #1 pick is a hit or miss proposition. But a #7? There is reasonable basis for doubt that a #7 pick will even make the bench for Philly.

And Fred? Fred showed some flashes of skills 2 years ago, but now he is a certifiable, slow-as-molasses-in-january DUD. He didn't to BEANS for us last year. DC United unloaded a non-performing player with a substantial salary. DC United wins this trade on THAT basis alone. This is the MLS equivalent of the Mariel Boatlift with Nowak playing bonehead-dupe Jimmy Carter.

So we give a who-cares #7 college draft pick, unload a fat, slow, skill-denuded player with a high salary, we GET a solid keeper who we know can do the job for us, free up cap space and some of you say PHILLY made out?

I just don't get it.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 14, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I like this trade. We know what we got: the best goalkeeper in MLS. Philly took a (understandable) gamble: they might get the Fred of 2007 and a future MLS all-11, or they might get the Fred of 2009 and a player who doesn't ever make their bench. Given that we needed a keeper, Philly didn't (they have Seitz), and Philly needed to get young, I think this trade makes a lot of sense for both teams.

Honestly, I wasn't exactly extatic about Fred pulling the strings for the offense in 2010 anyway. Goff makes a great point about how much money (much of it spent on dead weight, in my opinion) DCU have shed this offseason. We have some cash to spend, and I'm sure the front office have plans to spend it.

Posted by: jsm91 | January 14, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse


1) Is it assumed now that Wicks will be cut immediately or will he battle Kocic for the backup slot?

2) Will Bob Bradley pursue the WC 2002 strategy with Tim Howard -- he left Timmy at home to continue playing matches with the Metrostars instead of riding the pine as the #3 GK on the USMNT -- with Troy Perkins? If the #3 spot is essentially a wasted slot, is it better to have a good guy in the locker room type like Hahnemann and let Perkins continue grooming his game?

3) Is the DC United supporters trip to Philly today cancelled? I mean, what's the point now?

Posted by: jofij | January 14, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I assume (the injured) Wicks will be cut ASAP. I'm not sure when it is possible, though.

Posted by: Reignking | January 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Like some others - I loved the headline, but got very worried when I saw the price. After reading all the fine analysis here, I ended up more neutral but still concerned about giving up the 7th pick. College/amateur drafts are a crapshoot to some extent in any sport, but the MLS draft seems to be getting deeper every year, and there were a lot of intriguing possibilities at #7 this time around. In the end, I am happy GK is solved, but wonder if there wasn't some other possibility that would have allowed DCU to keep that pick. I was a little surprised Fred's option was picked up, so losing him doesn't bother me too much. On the other hand, Philly clearly put some value on Fred if they are willing to pay him $257K so... Wait, is there a conclusion in here somewhere? I give the FO a B+ .

Posted by: assocfoot | January 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Here's what United got: An proven goalkeeper who has USMNT experience (Tough accomplishment for a US goalkeeper).

Here's what the Union got:

1. A draft pick they can trade or use to get a player who may or may not work out.

2. An average MLS midfielder who may or may not meet expectations.

3. Allocation Money that can be traded or used to sign a player who may or may not work out.

I think Philly definitely got more "up-side" in the trade, but it very easily could not work out for them if they don't make good decisions.

However, DC immediately strengthen a young defense that gave up... a lot of goals last year.

Posted by: TCompton | January 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I guess the big question is does Troy get to go back to his part-time job waiting tables at Perkins?

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | January 14, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@ jofij - Right now I'm assuming Wicks is gone. Unfortunately, Kocic is more attractive trade bait, so the FO is probably shopping both around to see who draws the best offers (and if we don't end up with a first round pick today, I'll be surprised). The best thing we could do on a purely personnel front would be trading Wicks and letting Kocic and Hamid learn from Perkins' example. Both Kocic and Hamid will be quality 'keepers one day, with Kocic closer to being a solid backup right now. I'm tempted to say Wicks no longer has any upside, but he's still young and we might be able to get something in a trade (a utility sub. striker, please?).

The DC goalie that gets the most out of this is Hamid. Perkins' aerial game was always his strong point and Hamid's size and strength tell us that his potential as a box-dominating 'keeper is huge. He'll do well to learn from one of the best the US has.

Posted by: TassieTiger | January 14, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

This just seems like a crazy amount to give up for a GK. Did Dan Snyder make this deal for us or something?

Posted by: jva1 | January 14, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I voted even. We addressed our needs, and Nowak his.
I liked Fred plenty, but his production just wasn't there. As far as his career goes, I feel like he's got better chances of having a good year at the PU than he'd have here. I wish him well and dread having to face him without a healthy Namoff.

Maybe DCU buys everyone on the busses lunch now?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Win-win, like Chest says.

We had to have Perkins. Now we have to keep him healthy and in the fold long term. Just as an aside, apart from his excellent skills, soccer moms dig Perkins. Not sure I can explain that, but it is an observed fact.

Philly gets one of the most skillful players in the league. Nowak will know what to do with him. I believe Philly will be quite good this year right out of the starting blocks.

Now we badly need a #10.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 14, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Love the move, sorry to see Fred go. Seemed like a decent guy, and contributed to our midfield ball movement over the last 3 years.

Draft picks are meh, last year a huge exception. As far as money goes, I don't care, it's not mine.

How Nowak and Philly fared in the deal is of no concern to me.

Bobby MacMahon once said a top keeper can save you 10-15 goals a year in the EPL.

At Troy's age, that could be significant goals, and standings points, over the next 10 years.

Posted by: JkR- | January 14, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Fred was a good flank/inside midfielder. He will be missed. Hopefully he will get back on track in philly. It is great that we got perkins, we def needed a number one. Hopefully they will go to europe now for a good finisher. Perhaps englands cocacola 1 or 2. I would like to see someone we can finish with his head. So castillo can serve up some dangerous crosses that would end up in the net.

Posted by: g3impreza | January 14, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The grumpy comments here are way off the mark. Perkins will be one of the best goalkeepers in the league for a long time. Fred, on the other hand, has performed poorly for a while; his best days are behind him. His first touch and crosses are well below average, and I don't seem him being a good center attacking midfielder. The draft pick is worthless, compared to what a first-round pick should be; by the 7th pick the available players just are not very good this year. Of course this deal had to include allocation money--DC had to give up something of value.

It's true that there still are many holes to fill on this team, particularly in the attacking roles. A single, low draft pick is not enough to solve that problem. Having dumped the bloated salaries of fading players, DC should have the money to make a few good signings.

Instead of feeling entitled to every championship, we need to realize that DC United first needs to make the playoffs. This trade moves the team toward both.

Also, good for Perkins that his salary this season will be ten times what DC paid him before.

Posted by: hungrypug | January 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

A quality, consistent keeper will solidify the back line. Perkins fits the bill nicely.

A quality, attacking, healthy, consistent mid will energize the attack. Fred does not fit this bill. He can, but hasn't in a long, long time.

The pick is neither here nor there. As many have pointed out, the draft isn't too deep and an impact player is unlikely. Plus, United we can scour USL for a good player that will give as much or more time than a rookie, college player.

The allocation money? Well, as someone pointed out, we made 750 K minus league's fee. So we still made some bank.

United takes it.

Posted by: delantero | January 14, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Given that DC is seriously lacking young talent, giving up the 7th pick is not chump change. Pontius was the 7th pick last year, with Alston, Frei, and Hall on the board."

Posted by: srfinger | January 14, 2010 8:38 AM |

what's the hope for a draft pick - that they'll be a regular contributor 1-2 years from now? We came out well ahead last year picking up both Pontius and Wallace, so I think we can afford a hit in the draft this year.

Plus we picked up Szetela midway through and he's about the same age. If he can come into camp fit / with his head on straight / get a fair shot this year (depending on who you talk to) he could be a major contributor for us.

We've definitely got the youth to last for a couple seasons in place, plus Perkins is hopefully locked up for 8-10 years considering how long good keepers can keep playing.

After sleeping on it I definitely like this deal a lot.

Posted by: joe_hill | January 14, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

United Wins b/c of this:

"D.C. United is where things began and where I belong," said Troy Perkins, who earned MLS goalkeeper of the year honors in 2006.

Olsen retires, and another leader returns!

Posted by: delantero | January 14, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Ben Olsen is the big loser. With his new salary, Troy won't have to pay rent to live in Ben's basement this time around."

Posted by: DCUSince96 | January 14, 2010 7:50 AM

that was Zach Wells that was living in Benny's basement.

my hunch is that Troy just needed to get out of the country for a couple years while the mortgage industry crashed and burned.

Posted by: joe_hill | January 14, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that DCU got what it needed most: a proven keeper. A team can't be good without a good keeper. He's the backbone. Perkins will upgrade the defenders in front of him. This will help the midfield, which will help the front. Success starts in goal.

DCU has essentially traded a crapshoot -- Fred and the draft choice -- for a sure thing. And it has money left over to improve the attack. Let's hope they spend it wisely.

Posted by: runningcloud | January 14, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm very glad we got Perkins back. To me, he's easily more valuable to the team than Fred plus the #7 pick in today's draft. I guess the final value of the trade would depend on how much money we gave up and on the allocation draft order.

What happened with the allocation draft order? Does DC keep its old position or does Philly now have it? My understanding is Philly just burned their pick for Perkins in exchange for what they got from DC.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 14, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Wicks gets cut.

Hear me out.

Wicks is a head-case (based on the end of his year last year) and injured. He's of no value in a trade to ANY other MLS team. Cutting him leaves him free to go anywhere and only frees up cash for United. Kocic, while a project, is healthy and has value. As the season gets closer or just underway, United has someone they can dangle for depth at another position perhaps. Injuries happen. Pat Onstad is 52?

I see it this way. United doesn't need TWO projects to back-up Perkins should anything happen to him or he's going to South Africa. Bill Hamid, should be the #3 guy. Wicks, despite his issues, showed heart and an improvement last year. His first few games were howlers, but he reigned it in after that. So, since United can't get anything for an injured keeper, the best thing to do is keep him and know that Perkins and Hamid should be able to keep things clean until he's healthy and in form.

Kocic is our last remaining shopping piece. Young, capable, and at least worth something in a trade.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 14, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about losing Fred and a pick - but Goff's salary dumping paragraph is more worrying. The financial state of the club does not appear to be strong.

But we'll see what the front office has in store for the rest of the Winter. Team needs another center back, a fullback or wide midfielder (depending on where Wallace plays - will Castillo play #10 or on the left?), a central midfielder and a forward or two. Yikes.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 14, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

To those who are saying Perkins is the best #1 in the league -

Count me as a big Perkins fan who is thinks DCU and Union probably broke about even (or slightly in PHL's favor if it was a lot of cash). But Perkins will need to knock Kasey Keller off the throne to claim that spot.

But I agree with DCUSince96 - Olsen the Landlord is the big loser...

Posted by: dcbird | January 14, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

3) Is the DC United supporters trip to Philly today cancelled? I mean, what's the point now?

Posted by: jofij | January 14, 2010 9:28 AM

To show the league what real supporters are all about. Kudos to anyone still making the trip. Enjoy lunch, talk some story with the SOB's and have a good time. I'm convinced something happens and United makes a trade to move up, or at least picks up some sort of prospect while the supporters try to drown out Garbers flapping lips. Hope you guys score some of the new jerseys too. They have a nice amount of red in them this time around.
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Odd that the poll does not match these comments -- poll is saying Union got the better deal.

I hope the Union defenders are ready for a lot of splendid backward passes from Fred.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | January 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Odd that the poll does not match these comments -- poll is saying Union got the better deal.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | January 14, 2010 10:36 AM

I think that many fans visit the site - and United fans do most of the talking ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | January 14, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

DCU would have made the playoffs the last two seasons with just a decent keeper. Think about all the soft goals Wicks, Crayton, Wells, etc gave up. This is a huge upgrade.

and I'm really surprised to see so many people complainging about giving up the draft pick, or saying the club should have received a late round pick from PU. a draft pick actually contributing at all is rare, especially for DCU. Last year was a huge exception, walking away with Pontius, RW, and Kocic.

off-loading Fred to a division rival is risky, but could provide addtional return. if PU gets Fred 2009, then they are in trouble - especially if they plan to feature him prominently.

the only downside to the deal that I can see is that DCU apparently had to give up its spot in the USNT allocation list.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

For Piotr's sake, I hope his trainer is good at treating hamstrings. Fred will require that.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Those who are saying this draft isn't deep - where do you get this idea? Alomst everything I have read from multiple sites plus the little you can tell from seeing a few college, U20 and U17 games on TV, suggests otherwise. That doesn't make the trade bad, just wondering where the weak draft info comes from.

Posted by: assocfoot | January 14, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The reason I say the Union got the better of the deal is because the trade was more lopsided than it needed to be. Philly's leverage wasn't so total as it seems. Nowak didn't gamble here. He wasn't going to add Perkins, when he already has a future national team prospect in goal.

I'm OK with giving up Fred. I'm OK with giving up the #7 pick. I'm OK with giving up allocation money, since DCU isn't likely to get any allocation players. I'd even be OK with packaging it all together, if DCU had gotten Philly to throw in their 2nd round piok. We swapped allocation order picks -- why not swap our first for their second draft pick? That would mean that Nowak essentially moved up 10 spots. I think he'd have agreed to that. At the very least, we should have been able to pry away Philly's 3rd round pick. Philly will get a future starter out of the #7 pick, I think we could have gotten them to agree to give up a slot that might yield some future depth.

I'm happy to have Perkins back. I don't think he's headed to South Africa, though we may lose him to future national team appearances. So long as he's healthy, we can rely on him to play this year. As Chest has noted, I think Kocic is more tradable right now. If Wicks is projected to be healthy enough to play when the season starts, I'd deal Kocic for a pick.

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow, i can't believe how many people think this is an obvious good deal.

"How many championship teams have crap goalkeepers?"
Posted by: matthewjfyoungs

DC United of 96, 97, 99. Simpson, Garlick, Presthus. Not crap, but nowhere near the top of the league. Maybe not even the top half!

"So we gave up the #7 pick in the draft..BIG DEAL!. How many 7th picks have even made it in MLS?"
Posted by: asocrlovr

Really? Not like Nyarko, Pontius both 7's or Ching, Clint Dempsey, Shalrie Joseph, Altidore (i could go on forever) who were all lower than 7? #7 is a great pick to have. I'll agree there is the hit and miss chance because we could draft another Bryan Arguez and we know what we're getting with Perkins. BUT remember Perkins was undrafted, and plenty of good MLS goal keepers were late draftees, or at least later than #7. That's probably the deepest position in US Soccer. So I don't know.

Would all you people think Fred and Pontius or Fred and Wallace for Perkins was a great deal? Yeah, maybe Fred was going to be cut anyway, but the potential exists for this to be a bad deal. It could end up being a good deal, but its not guaranteed.

What is guaranteed is Philly got 2 players for nothing, so I'd have to say they definitely got a great deal. DC may have gotten a good deal as well, but only time will tell.

Posted by: Brian76 | January 14, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Ives has revised his mock draft to add a 3rd round -- I really was joking, because it's kinda silly to do. That said, he projects DCU getting U17 defender Zachary Herold. That would be a terrific pick, with tremendous upside.

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"That would be a terrific pick, with tremendous upside."

Posted by: fischy

thank you, Hubie Brown!

well, i was all ready for a long comment but then Chest was his usual, sensical self and Joel_M_Lane asked my question about the allocation order (though i'll expand a bit and ask: did Philly use their allocation and then trade Perkins, thus moving them to the end of the order? or did DCU and PU simply swap positions and now DCU is at the end? how does anyone understand these arcane MLS rules?).

i see the arguments on both sides, but i think overall it was fair: DCU didn't give up anything critical but did part with value and got significant value in return.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 14, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Nowak was somewhat instrumental in bringing Fred to DC United before he left in 2006? It will be interesting to see how he uses him in Philly, probably much better than we did.

More and more it looks like Chester Cheetos will be a pretty solid team and who knows they may compete with Chicago as being one of the better expansion teams in their first year. ..umm ohh yeah Nowak also coached that team.

The trade will go in Nowak’s favor, guaranteed.

Posted by: Southeasterner | January 14, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Brian76 - obviously if the deal is Fred + Pontius or Wallace for Perkins its not so great. but that isn't the deal. There is no telling what players would be available at #7, much less if they would even be at positions of need for United. And at #7, the liklihood of the player having an immediate impact on the roster is slim. so rather than take a chance in the draft on a future prospect, they chose to lock down a position of need TODAY. and, they offloaded a liability to a division rival in the process.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 14, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Southeasterner - Fred got here early in 2007 under Soehn (along with Emilio), if I'm not mistaken.

Also, Nowak played on the 99 Chicago team. That team was coached by Bob Bradley (again, if I'm not mistaken)

Posted by: VTUnited | January 14, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

also, fischy, i'm not sure Wicks would be so happy being a backup after having started most of last season. plus he's not going to be healthy for the first part of the season, so DCU would have to rely on Hamid if Kocic were to be traded. i would prefer to see Kocic stay in the apprentice role since he'll be cheaper and (i think) less prone to outbursts. also, with no Champions League or SuperLiga games, there will be fewer opportunities for 2 GKs to get playing time, so i say let Wicks hit the skids.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 14, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I like this trade. Perkins comes back more seasoned and with US National team ambitions. Possibly the main reason for the shambles at the back last year was that not one of the four could trust what Wicks would do. Troy immediately has an opportunity to reestablish that trust that Wicks didn't/couldn't instill.

Fred had to go. He was a greatly diminished force who was massively overpaid for his meagre output. He's on the slide that all athletes his age find themselves on and the safe bet is that he's not going to suddenly perk up this season. United win this round.

But innzo79 is correct that this one successful looking move does not mean that Payne/Kasper can rest. United has big squad needs this year and that brain-trust simply must do better than continue to mine the same mediocre scouting pipeline that's brought in Filomeno, O'Neall, Gallardo, Martinez, Erpen, Guppy, Mediate, Janecki, and God...Peralta.

Posted by: gooner71 | January 14, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

This deal might have been worth it for Ricketts or Keller or Onstand or Reis, but we all know what happened with Perkins in that last year here at DC United...After that Superliga flameout before the season started, he was rattled and always was hesitant after that. He looked like a deer caught in headlights. DC then happily got whatever they could for him, and that happened to be from a league that is a notch below MLS (IMHO). And its not like he was a star over there either..The fact that he is back shows what a mess the front office really is, as they also dumped off a future prospect/draft pick and an established MLS player to boot...I also feel that Bob Bradley has made a mistake by bringing in Perkins to the USMNT. My feeling is that Perkins was brought in by default, as there are hardly any young or middle aged goalkeeping prospects on the horizon. I really hope that we never actually see Perkins in any kind of meaningful game for the Nats, otherwise we will be screwed...So to put it mildly, our goalkeeping situation at DC United has not been solved at all...

Posted by: alan19 | January 14, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@alan19 - you spout off a lot of negativity, with some incorrect information. Troy made a mistake in the Champions Cup, which unlike the Superliga, was a very meaningful competition. by all accounts he was one of the best keepers in the Norweigian leauge, which is an established, albeit lower tier, european league. he has earned a shot at getting in the USNT pool. The Gold Cup final was not his fault, and if you watched that game, then you know the fact that he was able to hold that scorline to 5 was rather miraculous. and the difference between him and Keller, Onstad, and Reis is that hes significantly younger, and still has room to grow. you are right that Fred was an "established MLS player", but he has done nothing for this team in 3 seasons. my point is, if you are going to trash this club and this deal, then get your facts straight.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe having Perkins will help. Maybe.

But what we really, desperately needed was a step up from Soehn at the coaching position.

And instead we took a step down with Onalfo.

Posted by: anonymousinva | January 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Champions Cup, not Super Liga...

Posted by: alan19 | January 14, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@alan19 - you spout off a lot of negativity, with some incorrect information. Troy made a mistake in the Champions Cup, which unlike the Superliga, was a very meaningful competition. by all accounts he was one of the best keepers in the Norweigian leauge, which is an established, albeit lower tier, european league. he has earned a shot at getting in the USNT pool. The Gold Cup final was not his fault, and if you watched that game, then you know the fact that he was able to hold that scorline to 5 was rather miraculous. and the difference between him and Keller, Onstad, and Reis is that hes significantly younger, and still has room to grow. you are right that Fred was an "established MLS player", but he has done nothing for this team in 3 seasons. my point is, if you are going to trash this club and this deal, then get your facts straight.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad we have Perkins, because he is probably better than what we have now, but I hope he got better over the last few years. He was shaky with DC United and the keeper of the year award was a load. He was an average keeper at best. Maybe better than average for MLS, but I, as well as the FO thought we could do better and we were wrong.

Posted by: united100 | January 14, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Fred Sucks. We win.

Posted by: GoUnited | January 14, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Good trade. Now we need a first rate striker, a center-mid, an experienced right back (or a healthy Namoff) a new left back (unless Wallace developes at that spot) and another wide mid. The FO needs to open up their WALLETS in Europe or South Anerica.

Posted by: lemovs1 | January 15, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

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