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D.C. United signs Morsink, dumps N'Galula

We fully expected D.C. United to sign midfielder Kurt Morsink, who played three years for Curt Onalfo in Kansas City and began a trial last week. We certainly didn't expect the club, after just a month of training camp, to waive midfielder-defender Flo N'Galula, the former Manchester United prospect who was welcomed with modest fanfare in January.

Both transactions occurred Friday as the team prepared to depart for a week of training in Mexico. Morsink, who is from Costa Rica and played at James Madison University, will provide cover in the deep midfield position.

Here is what the club said about N'Galula when it acquired him: "We are very excited about the pedigree Flo brings to D.C. United. Flo impressed during his postseason trial with us and we feel he has the physical tools and versatility to be very successful in our league. We look forward to his contributions."

Of N'Galula's early departure, a source close to the situation said the club has "less expensive options who can do the same job."

By Steve Goff  |  March 5, 2010; 2:46 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: MLS labor negotiations update

Comments

We're starting to look like KC with Cristman and Morsink as favorites of Curt Onalfo.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If these former KC players do well then I'm okay with that. I don't care who they are as long as they produce and can help United win.

Posted by: Unitedfury | March 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse


On other fora, KC fans are laughing that we signed Morsink.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

What a frightening comment on our financial situation.

Posted by: bselig | March 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

bselig -- why is it a comment on our financial situation?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

For some reason I find it a 'positive' that an NCAA player is more valuable than a pedigreed Euro-reject.

Or something like that...

Posted by: JkR- | March 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

If Morsink is indeed cheaper than N'Galula and can perform about the same, then it does make sense to sign him. If Morsink was say 70-80k and N'Galula was going to make 160-170k, it saves about 100k for United to use on moves over the summer.

Posted by: Unitedfury | March 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The Flo has been cut-off midstream.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 5, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Flo N'Galula, we hardly knew ya.

Posted by: PeteO1 | March 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

On other fora, KC fans are laughing that we signed Morsink.
Posted by: christopher_a_metzler
-----
By all means, let's use BigSoccer to judge whether or not a move is a good idea.

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Goose -- did you or did you not watch the man play last year?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If we will use the potential $100k savings for moves over the summer, why dump N'Galula now and not later? If someone else can do the same job for cheaper, shouldn't we at least give the two players in question a chance to prove themselves during competitive matches? A month at training camp doesn't seem like enough to make a full evaluation.

I agree this is a comment on our less than optimal financial state if we feel we must pinch pennies like this.

Posted by: WorldCup | March 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

no way he's 70-80. JMU does not produce people that can make 70 to 80 thousand after 3 years. Tino was only making 70, and mctavish only 50.

But yea, I think the team needs to save its money for feasibility studies

Posted by: SexyOffender | March 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Harada is the cheaper option behind N'Galula.

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I saw him play, but he didn't stand out to me one way or the other. I guess I have a bit more faith in Dave Kasper's ability to judge talent than in Andy Mead's.

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

WorldCup -- again, why is this a comment on our *financial state*? You realize that salary expenses under the cap cost the team *nothing*, right?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Goose -- touche.

In watching KC matches (not just against us) last year, I carried away a fairly negative impression of the guy. But then again, I'm not a professional at this stuff either, so what do I know?

I do suspect, though, that this wasn't Kasper so much as driven by Onalfo -- Morsink being a player he's comfortable with because he has a history with him.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

no way he's 70-80. JMU does not produce people that can make 70 to 80 thousand after 3 years. Tino was only making 70, and mctavish only 50.

Posted by: SexyOffender

um, Tino used to make upwards of $200k. its only because he bottomed out as a drug addict that he has worked back up to $80

Posted by: Section107 | March 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I was just estimating those salaries. It's quite possible United wants to sign someone else and Morsink rather than only Flo. After all, while not spectacular, Barklage, Szetela, McTavish, Simms, Tino, and DiRaimondo can all play CM. I personally think people shouldn't overreact anyway as this appears almost certainly to be just a depth move.

Posted by: Unitedfury | March 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess what I'm really trying to say is: Remain calm, all is well!

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The club says they have "less expensive options who can do the same job."

I was thinking we needed 2010 to be a "better job" than 2009 was...if DC United save money and still miss the playoffs who exactly benefits?

Posted by: soccerman | March 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The club says they have "less expensive options who can do the same job."
I was thinking we needed 2010 to be a "better job" than 2009 was...if DC United save money and still miss the playoffs who exactly benefits?

Posted by: soccerman
---
You missed the point on at least two levels. Well done.

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I think this means Onalfo/Kasper decided Flo wasn't better than either Simms or Szetela. Assuming one or the other of those guys is healthy, he starts and Flo/Morsink/McTavish/Barklage is the backup. I'm sure Morsink is a cheaper #3 backup that Flo. Of all the player moves made in the offseason, this one doesn't bother me at all.

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

soccerman,

Maybe it's not about simply saving the money, it's about freeing up that money to eventually spend it on a better player.

Posted by: Kenobi | March 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Or what spidergoose said, since he posts faster.

Posted by: Kenobi | March 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

fare thee well Flobot.

and why are people complaining about the team saving capspace? would you rather they keep over-priced international bench players around forever, or let them go when they realize they can get the same benefit from a cheaper, American player?

Posted by: VTUnited | March 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

so I guess we're going with FloMin instead of FloMax

Posted by: OWNTF | March 5, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

You realize that salary expenses under the cap cost the team *nothing*, right?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 3:23 PM |
----------------------------------------------------

As I wrote in the other thread, I"m pretty sure this is wrong. MLS covers the DP's salary up to the amount that is alloted to the cap ($425k? $450k?). I'm pretty sure that is the only part of any team's wages that MLS covers. I could be wrong, but that's my understanding. The league approves any and all deals, but the teams pay the salaries.

I do, agree, though, that this has little to do with finances. On the other hand, it doesn't say much about the talent we have -- and, it suggests United wasn't overly impressed with Flo. Morsink was cut by KC. No way he was offered anything above $50k.

I was kinda hoping N'Galula would prove to be a good pick-up. This is depressing because those lower cost options aren't very good players. In fact, with Simms hurt, it looks like DiRaimondo (a Colorado reject) will be starting. Last place is not out of the question. Not a good year to do that, though. Worst record only gets the 3rd pick in the draft and 3rd in allocation order.

I hope Chad "Santa Claus" Ashton is bringing back some shiny new toys from Brazil.

Posted by: fischy | March 5, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

RE: After all, while not spectacular, Barklage, Szetela, McTavish, Simms, Tino, and DiRaimondo can all play CM.
--Unitedfury--

Yikes! There's a definite lack of 'spectacular' in that group. I love me some Tino, but he can't do everything....

Posted by: DWE4 | March 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

i love that Flo's wiki is already updated, with this post as the source.

the talent evaluation part of this equation is all that really concerns me. how the club could go out and use an international slot to sign this guy who couldn't beat out a few MLS retreads is a little alarming.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 5, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I was not that impressed with Flaw. Upps!! Flo.
There are better options for DCU anyways.

Posted by: fedster | March 5, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@VTUnited -- As I watch the FO "in action", I don't know if they're really in the talent evaluation business. I think they have a few friends abroad -- maybe someone in Switzerland, someone in Anderlecht, definitely someone in Argentina -- who suggest some marginal players that might have a shot of making an MLS roster.

If I thought more of the guys we have, I would be more encouraged that this one isn't going to sit on our bench for months taking up space like those who have preceded him. Instead, this leaves me more discouraged about the team and especially the front office. It seems to me that most, if not all of the other teams are bringing in some interesting new players. I haven't seen Castillo and Allsopp play -- I hope they do better than others. DCU hasn't made a decent foreign signing since Emilio. This should be a regular part of the operation. Instead, we're repeatedly signing cr*p failed African imports to Europe and combing the MLS waiver wire for depth.

Posted by: fischy | March 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I didn't miss the point...but what I am missing is the evidence that this coaching staff has identified/targeted/signed the "more expensive options who can do a better job." They are in preseason training now, first game is in 3 weeks. If Onalfo/Kasper/Payne are gonna pull the trigger on something they better do it soon.

Posted by: soccerman | March 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

We need to trust the FO and go with the Flo.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 5, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

fischy -- your understanding is incorrect. The Portland Report broke down the parts of team revenues that are held by the teams and the parts sent to the League; and the parts of team expenses that are paid by the teams and the parts paid by the League. It makes clear that the League pays 100% of all salaries below the cap.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, a lot of the other teams have established relationships with foreign clubs and also with USSF lower division teams. Those other teams are getting stadiums and local TV deals. What the heck is the DCU front office doing? They made a deal with VW (and, it appears broke a deal to pay a finder's fee to the guys who did the actual leg-work). They've gotten nowhere with various stadium projects -- and, even those were handed to them on a platter. Local politicians made the initial proposals, not DCU. They can't even get guaranteed local TV coverage for all games, and they've abandoned all hope of having English-language radio. So, someone please tell me what they're doing that's positive?

Posted by: fischy | March 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

fischy -- sorry, mistyped. It wasn't the Portland Report, but the KC stadium prospectus. See p.17 of the document at:

http://bocc.jocogov.org/dist3/Documents/KCSoccerFinalReport.pdf

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

It makes clear that the League pays 100% of all salaries below the cap.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 4:12 PM

And United are making sure that they have 100% of their playing staff within 100% of the cap. No DP. Rosy glassed fan, "we don't need a washed up DP half a$$ing it in the middle of the park". More cynical fan, "we don't have the money for a DP".

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse


Kev29 -- actually, if you work the numbers, it looks like our salaries are 500k-600k below the cap right now. It's hard to be sure because we only have hints at the salaries for Allsopp, Castillo, and Perkins; but with those hints, that's how the numbers work out.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It makes clear that the League pays 100% of all salaries below the cap.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 5, 2010 4:12 PM

And United are making sure that they have 100% of their playing staff within 100% of the cap. No DP. Rosy glassed fan, "we don't need a washed up DP half a$$ing it in the middle of the park". More cynical fan, "we don't have the money for a DP".

Posted by: Kev29 | March 5, 2010 4:20 PM

do you want another Gallardo? id rather the club save the money (and embarassment) and wait until after the WC to get a player who will have a positive impact. and please, name a player right now who could come to DCU right now and have an impact as a DP. if you are going to constantly crack the club, then you should have a solution...


and I dont consider myself a "rosy glassed fan".

Posted by: VTUnited | March 5, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone needed to be cut because they've got a deal in the works with an un-named Brazilian DP?

Did I seriously just type Brazilian DP? Someone's gotta come up with another term one of these days...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 5, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Is it too early to start the "Fire Onalfo" chants?

Posted by: morecowbell | March 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, I'd love to hear about these stadium deals that were handed to United on a silver platter....

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well -- since it's not coming out of DC's coffers, there's no reason to leave any cap room unspent.

I'm fine with the team leaving some cap room for a DP and even another high-priced signing after the Cup. However, the FO's recent performance doesn't instill me with any confidence they'll get that done -- at least not with any inspired signings. If someone like Raul comes calling because the Red Bulls signed someone else, the FO will probably pick up the phone.

I'm also pretty concerned about the current talent level. With Namoff and Simms likely to miss the start of the season, I don't like the options. Even if Szetela is back in time -- and it seems highly unlikely that he could be fit to play 90 minutes -- I haven't seen anything there I liked yet.

Posted by: fischy | March 5, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@Goose -- Payne has previously described how Tony Williams approached DCU with the Poplar Point plan. I'm pretty sure that a similar course of action occurred with PG County and the Maryland Stadium Authority, except that there were several sites rather than one firm location proposed. The same thing is happening again in Baltimore, where the process began with Mayor Dixon and developers who sought out the team.

Posted by: fischy | March 5, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

christopher_a_metzler:

KC fans do seem to have a unanimously negative opinion of Morsink. However, it strikes me as an example of opinion in an echo chamber. Morsink is not a great player, but he's far from useless. I think KC fans just needed a scapegoat, and Morsink's number came up.

I'm not saying he's a starter for us, but as depth, he's alright.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 5, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

And how is it Payne's fault that Fenty went back on everything Williams proposed?

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

So much for the CM tandem of Hustle (Clyde Simms) and Flo.

(It would have worked better if Benny was still playing.)

Posted by: PeteO1 | March 5, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

And how is it Payne's fault that Fenty went back on everything Williams proposed?

Posted by: spidergoose | March 5, 2010 4:57 PM
------------------------------------------------------

I didn't say it necessarily was. Perhaps there was something that might have been done to push the Poplar Point deal through, perhaps not. I was pointing out that there seems to be a pattern here -- a front office that isn't particularly aggressive or proactive in any area.

Posted by: fischy | March 5, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

We're gonna suck the Big Juan this year.

Posted by: Hoost | March 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

@ morecowbell:

No.

Posted by: Curious99 | March 5, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@spidergoose:
Here's where Payne has responsibility. He has an army of serval thousand DC voters who are also fans. He not only failed to engage them in this fight, he actively discouraged their involvement. No media campaign. No letter writing campaign. OK there was the march on Maryland but that and the march down East Captiol street were entirely fan driven DESPITE Payne's preference to have fans do little to nothing.

It would not be hard for the team to work behind the scene to organize a bumper sticker, letter, email, call in to Channel 4 when Fenty is on campaign with a single message: No stadium, No second term.

His lack of leadership and engagement in the hunt to find a path forward on a stadium is only surpassed by his insistence that he knows how to find and hire players who will turn the ship around - despite never having played the game.

Well I suppose that is surpassed by his arrogance in how he treats players (ask some of the former players, the stories are not hard to find).

A year ago season ticket holders were sent a letter saying that the management was going to be held more accountable for success, yet 2009 was every bit as much of a failure, if not more, than 2008.

Where is the ownership when we need them?

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I had this one all the way. I said the over-under of him being "gone-with-the-Flo" was July 1. Way under, it turns out.

Posted by: rcdwriting | March 7, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

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