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United Selects .....

North Carolina defender Jordan Graye, a DeMatha High graduate who played in United's youth system and started on two College Cup squads for the Tar Heels. He is an outside back who, if he makes the roster, would provide cover on the right side for Bryan Namoff (recovering from a concussion).

"He's a guy we have had on our radar for a long time," Coach Curt Onalfo said. "We were surprised he wasn't invited to the [scouting] combine. He is a guy who has played left back, right back, very athletic and a strong kid. He has a good shot to make our roster. ... We knew people knew about him but often when you don't get into the combine, you kind of get forgotten."

Graye is 6 feet 2 and 170 pounds.

On Namoff's status, Onalfo said he could "possibly have a little bit of a delay to the season. ... We look forward to seeing how [Graye] adapts. Just like any player coming from college to the pro game, there is a big jump and some players can make that jump quicker and better. We need to see how he incorporates with the group."

Meantime, General Manager Dave Kasper said the club exercised the option on goalkeeper Josh Wicks's contract, which means he is likely to be on the roster for at least the first half of the season. Wicks is recovering from shoulder and knee operations, and won't be available until April at the earliest.

United is tentatively planning to open training camp Jan. 28 at RFK Stadium and then shift to Bradenton, Fla., two weeks later.

By Steve Goff  |  January 14, 2010; 6:42 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: MLS Draft Day
Next: Preki, Dooley Elected to Hall of Fame


-well, good luck to the lad

-looking forward to the WPS draft tmrw

-about Liverpool . . . . wow

Posted by: OWNTF | January 14, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

72 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 14, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

This year's going to be different.

We're gonna kick Real Madrid's ass!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 14, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'll choose to be optimistic about Graye. He's obviously very rough, as he didn't come into his own at UNC until his senior year. If Wicks isn't ready to back-up Perkins at the start. does that mean we're going to carry 4 goalies for the time-being -- perhaps starting out with Wicks, Barklage and maybe Namoff on the injured list? The roster situation is dire, as I noted in the last thread. Unless the team is planning to carry lugs like John, Vaughn and DiRaimondo, we're desperately short-handed. Hard to see who might start in Namoff's place. James? Is he even going to be healthy enough to start the season? I think we need another South American invasion -- throw a bunch of players at the wall and see who sticks.

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

4 goalies on the roster, nice.

Posted by: PEddy | January 14, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Graye's size is appealing, since we're still a smallish team. He's also supposed to be fairly fast for a defender that big, which is a plus. If he can play on either side of the back four, his chance of making the squad is much better (since at right back we have Vaughn and McTavish contending to back Namoff up, while at left back it's just Burch behind Wallace). Considering we only had one pick, and it was so late, we could have done much worse.

The Wicks thing tells me that Kocic is on his way out. Others may have a strong feeling one way or the other, but my trust is similarly low for the both of them. Thus, it's not really a big deal. I guess the cap hit for Wicks is bigger since Kocic was on a developmental deal.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 14, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure we WANT four GKs on the roster?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | January 14, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse


James wouldn't replace Namoff. Right now, James would be Jakovic's central partner. I think Onalfo will have to choose between Vaughn, McTavish, and Graye at this point. Call it a hunch, but I think Onalfo would go with McTavish from that group (since he's better going forward than Vaughn, and Graye is a late draft pick).

As it was all along, the key for our offseason is who we acquire from outside the league. We have the cap room to pick up good players. It's just a matter of actually signing them, rather than a new Gallardo or new Peralta. Kasper's job should be on the line here; these acquisitions, whoever they are, have to be good.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 14, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Joel_M_Lane, LOL.

As I said before, Philly cleaned house. The only position where they didn't get a solid pick was defense. We're talking two best upside in McInerney and Okugo, the two we wanted; the most dangerous forward and the number one pick; the best defensive midfielder, MLS ready Stahl; and Perk, one of the best young goalkeepers.

We need to sign a forward fast. Our spine is pretty good (another central defender on the bench would be great) but if we don't get a striker to share the load with Pontius, Onalfo can talk offense till he's blue, it won't be reality. We know it's going to be a 4-4-2, but right now it's looking more like a 4-4-Pontius, please score!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 14, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Wicks is a dangerous head case.

Posted by: pmk000 | January 14, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

The coaches make their argument for the trade, indicate adding "key pieces" in the next two or three weeks.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 14, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

About grayes size...170 lbs is quite thin for 6'2", so I am not super excited about his size. I am sure he will put on some bulk, but it may take a year or so at least.
As for the GK situation. I dont see us carying 4 keepers all year. dont be suprised if we drop or trade one keeper. Prob wicks or kosic, prob wicks.

Posted by: jjfooty | January 14, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Why are we keeping Wicks if we just signed Perkins.

He wont be available for US Open Cup matches due to his ejection against Seattle last year. Isnt that (barring injury) the only time 2nd keepers ever see game time in MLS?

Posted by: rickinashburn | January 14, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad we got Troy back, but we overpaid for him. Now Steven says DC picked up Wicks contract. They can't keep 4 goalkeepers on the roster. Some teams don't even have 3. Why would we keep Wicks? No other team is going to want him in a trade because he's injured, can't play in the Open Cup, and is a hot head to top it off. So does that mean we cut our second round pick from last season, or our first academy signing who has yet to play in a league game? TS wasn't a good coach, but the bigger problem is the GM seems to have no clue what he's doing.

Posted by: flanier | January 14, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse


Agreed! Kaspers job is on the line.

Posted by: inzzo79 | January 14, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing keeping Wicks is at the very least meant to give the front office some flexibility. They will want to deal a goalie at some point -- either Wicks or Kocic. They can get another look or two at Kocic and see how Wicks recovers from his surgeries. It may also be that the team lacks confidence in Kocic. What you want is a back-up you trust to play.

Chest -- I think you're right about McTavish -- at least with the current roster. I guess I was thinking they might use a 3-man backline in Namoff's absence, but you're probably right about the team keeping the two CBs and moving McTavish into Namoff's slot. That doesn't make me feel comfortable. I like Dev, but mostly as a role player or a midfielder, not a starter on defense. Which leaves me continuing to hope DCU is going to add a quality fullback, preferably one who can play both left and right.

I am not thrilled about having to rely on Szetela or Q to direct the offense, either. That's without bringing up the problems up top with a 2nd year player and a 35 year old, and no other solid options. I hope something comes of these scouting trips. Time is short.

Posted by: fischy | January 14, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"He's a guy we have had on our radar for a long time," Coach Curt Onalfo

>>>"a long time"??! You've only been coach for two weeks!

Perkins better watch his right flank if Namoff can't start.

Posted by: delantero | January 14, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"He's a guy we have had on our radar for a long time," Coach Curt Onalfo

>>>"a long time"??! You've only been coach for two weeks!

Perkins better watch his right flank if Namoff can't start.

Posted by: delantero | January 14, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Graye is the second coming of Boswell?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Also: It's hilarious how (Generally Speaking) we've gone from mostly PURE JOY to the sky is falling once again in literally less than 24 hours.
I knew we couldn't be sure Wicks was gone yet. Don't worry, chances are the player's union won't be able to do anything about guaranteed contracts this year and we'll be able to dump some duds and sign fools off waivers before you know it.
How do we not know Castillo can't be a play maker?
It's not like we've got some stacked schedule we can't deal with this year.

Alexi Lalas is right, people do lose their minds during the draft...
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!:)

Posted by: DadRyan | January 14, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Looking up Graye's pedigree -- including his time with the Bradenton program -- led me to a possible prospect: Julian Valentin. 2nd rd. pick by the Gals 2 years ago -- had injuries, was loaned out to USL and had serious injury, and was waived in November. He's kind of a local boy -- Lancaster -- and might be worth a look. Formerly with US U20s, his younger brother is there now and plays for Akron.

Also, NJ native, Napoli castoff Vincenzo Bernardo, who I mentioned in an earlier thread.

I know DK and KP are headed out of country on scouting trips -- and the quality starters we need are going to come out of that, but maybe there's some players closer to home who could give the team some needed depth, as they get a second chance to develop as pros?

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

@fischy, I think Onalfo is already on that, since I totally have his ear.

If I were Onalfo I would check out what Julian Valentin is up to.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 8, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: OWNTF | January 15, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse


I would assume since there is no free agency in MLS Valentin would still be part of LA's roster whether he has a contract or not. According to Wikipedia he does not have a club. However I think he would provide good defensive depth.

Posted by: no_recess | January 15, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting how much DCU has been criticized in the soccer media and in the Insider's comments sections for trading away a top draft pick for Perkins. As has been noted by some more level-headed Insider commenters, the draft has not traditionally been a place to find talent. Paul Gardner concisely states this by saying, "top draft picks do not sail into starting lineups. They never feature as immediate impact players. And not a few of them simply disappear very quickly."

I can't express how satisfied I am in knowing a top-notch keeper will be between the DCU posts for many years to come. What a great move by the front office. Thanks, DCU!

Posted by: axman664 | January 15, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

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