Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

D.C. United signs midfielder Branko Boskovic

*Updated at 6:00 PM*

In need of an attack-minded center midfielder, D.C. United announced on Monday the signing of Montenegrin midfielder Branko Boskovic as a designated player.

Boskovic has spent the past three years playing for Rapid Vienna in the Austrian Bundesliga. The left-footed midfielder will not be available until the summer transfer window opens July 15.

With United, Boskovic likely will slide into a central midfield role though he is capable of playing on the left side, where he has played with Montenegro internationally.

"He is an honest two-way player with special attacking qualities," United General Manager Dave Kasper said. "A very good passer, very good running with ball, excellent long-range shot and a very good finisher inside the box. He is also very dangerous on set pieces - taking them as well as he is very good in the air, he scores a lot with his head - and he is tactically very smart. So all those things we feel will help us move forward."


United did not need to clear any space to make this roster move and Boskovic would be categorized as a "smaller" designated player monetarily compared to other designated players in the league.

Kasper also left open the possibility of another summer signing.

"We will continue to evaluate roster moves that could happen mid-July," he said. Asked if that meant another designated player Kasper said only there could be "other possible signings."

The 29-year-old Boskovic has played with several clubs in Europe, including Red Star Belgrade, Paris Saint-Germain and Troyes (France). At PSG, Boskovic played 36 times and scored three goals.

Since joining Rapid Vienna in 2007, Boskovic made 123 appearances and scored 30 goals. He also has one goal in 18 caps for Montenegro's national team.

United became aware of Boskovic in the spring and sent Technical Director Chad Ashton to watch him play with Rapid Vienna. Ashton came away impressed and the move to sign Boskovic developed in the past month.

Boskovic, who speaks English, had options to stay in Europe, including remaining at Rapid Vienna, but opted to come to D.C. United and MLS, Kasper said.

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 14, 2010; 5:33 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Branko Boskovic, D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 2010 MLS salaries made public by players' union
Next: Tuesday kickaround


If Branko's a Serb anything like Jakovic, then United have got themselves a quality midfielder. I also like the fact he is 29 and not 35.

Posted by: dcufan531 | June 14, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Hoost | June 14, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

We still need a quality striker up front.

Posted by: dcufan531 | June 14, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this was really on the DL. Hope he's good. We do need a central midfielder who can distribute.

Posted by: jake77 | June 14, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Guys, relax. I've heard from a reliable source that this guy was part of Ballack's stipulations for signing with DC.

Posted by: PEddy | June 14, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

LA gets Beckham. NY gets Henry. We get Brankovic. Do they have higher salary caps than we do?

Those cheesy promo videos always make me nervous. Once you realize you've seen the same goal/move five times, they lose their luster.

ps to @PEddy: thanks for making me feel better.

Posted by: ldmay | June 14, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse


The whole history of MLS is to favor New York and LA.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | June 14, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Blog is updated with fresh quotes, details...

Posted by: Paul Tenorio | June 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Those highlights are all from one game, which makes them largely meaningless. Apparently not much Austrian league video available on Youtube.

Posted by: benonthehill | June 14, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I am quite optimistic. Just what the team has needed.

Posted by: adamsmorgan | June 14, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Well at least he speaks english. So I dont think he will have problems adjusting like Castillo, whom Im starting to believe he is having trouble understanding players because of the lack of english.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | June 14, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

When Rapid plays Kapfenberg, they both leave the defense at home.

Posted by: rockotodd | June 14, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Branko Boskovic is Bobby Boswell's Serbian porn name.

Posted by: chemweapon | June 14, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This could be very good.

With a 'true' creative force in the midfield, I think our forwards will start putting a lot more goals in the net. Our biggest problem (aside from injuries) has been controlling the ball and decent service.

The negative nelly in me asks why he only played 36 games in 3 years for PSG though...

Posted by: SoccerVA | June 14, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I almost forgot about DCU...

I've gotten my hopes up too many times with foreign signings. I'll wait and see what happens.

Posted by: marcool | June 14, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

We signed Bronco Buster!


Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 14, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the 3rd goal used a Jabulani. For those of you complaining about the "highlights," remember that teh Castillo highlight video made him look like Rivaldo. So don't judge a book by its Youtube.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 14, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Agree. Castillo was a Youtube Messi. Cautiously optimistic.

Posted by: tcbannon | June 14, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Julia Roberts win an Oscar for portraying this guy's wife?

Posted by: dcarmy | June 14, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

What? DCU signed who? As DP?

If it's a RedStar/Jackovic type player we signed, I like that.

"The negative nelly in me asks why he only played 36 games in 3 years for PSG though..." - Wasn't the same thing reported about the last DCU DP?

Cautiously optimistic that this guy is the Captain DCU needs. Another quality signing and I'm much more optimistic.

Posted by: inbetweenswims | June 14, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Dcufan: he's montenegran, not a Serb. In case you missed the nineties, they're not big fans of each other. Careful.

I like the 29 years thing, but am beginning to think like I'm watching Major League 'who the f&$k are these guys?' is Willie Mays Hays next?

And Christian Castillo? Meet Andy Najar.ate we going to look like this:?

Najar/castillo-Brankovic-Simms-the other Tino/Pontius

and if we only had $200k under the cap, how'd we get him? Goodbye Luci?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | June 14, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Can we also import some Red Star Belgrade fans? They are A TON of fun!

Posted by: Hoost | June 14, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

All important FM10 rating is 132 (current))/148 (potential).

for what it's worth moreno, gomez and emilio are all at 120.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 14, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm making that music my ring tone.

Optimistic. And I agree: 29 is better than 35.

Team Doc is LOVING the World Cup!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | June 14, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the black-and-red, Branko. The faithful are much more welcoming than this. Forgive us, we are just a little jaded from the terrible run of seasons and lack of playoff success (and appearances).

Here's the deal - respect the colors and fight for the shirt and we will love you. Welcome to DC United.


Posted by: Kosh2 | June 14, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

How about Mido from Egypt as a striker. He does not seem to have a team right now.

Also, Van Der Meyde from Holland is probably still available.

Posted by: stephen_james2 | June 14, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@ stephen_james2 - Mido is a locker room cancer. He would be the TO of MLS.

Posted by: Kosh2 | June 14, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Boskovic! You should well adjusted by the next home game. See you then.

Vamos United!

Posted by: Curious99 | June 14, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

There are a few YouTube videos of up of him if this is the same guys (welcome Branko).

Dude sure can strike a volley

Posted by: tcbannon | June 14, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

1) This signing was obviously just to pander to DC's Montenegrin community
2) Montenegro = Black Mountain = I expect Led Zep tributes
3) Completely unrelated, but have you seen how upset the whiny Timbers superultrafantabulous supporters are about a stupid logo? They are doing a great job in their contest to be more annoying that Seattle.

Posted by: Reignking | June 14, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

for sure goodbye Luci. We will need to make some sort of roster move to make room, no? So Luci makes sense.

It seems weird to sign a guy no one has ever heard of as a DP. But I guess we'll see what happens.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 14, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Guys, relax. I've heard from a reliable source that this guy was part of Ballack's stipulations for signing with DC.

Posted by: PEddy

Yeah, I'm sure Ballack would be perfectly healthy here, with DCU's training and doctors :)

Posted by: Reignking | June 14, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Not a Serb, and hopefully a better soccer player than Jakovic. Otherwise, they're grossly overpaying -- DP means his salary is at least $450k.

Not totally out of nowhere, as Boskovic's move to MLS was up on the mls-rumors site last week -- but I didn't think DC would be his destination.

On further signings -- While I think Ballack is a serious possibility, I don't buy the Ballack connection here. Ballack didn't even know he was on his way out of Chelsea when DC started looking at Boskovic. Frankly, I'd be pretty surprised if Ballack even knows who Boskovic is.

He's obviously not a prolific goal-scorer, but heaven knows this team needs some real midfield talent. His pedigree suggests he's pretty good -- even good enough to be capped b the Serbia and Montenegro national team, back in the day. Best of all, he's helped his teams win a decent amount of hardware.

On the other hand, he couldn't even crack PSG's starting lineup. That's hardly DP material. Getting Ballack would be a much more impressive move.

As for Emilio -- I see no real connection. I know Luci seems to think he can command DP money, and will be asking for that to stay. That ain't happening. If he scores some goals soon, though, the team might ask him to stick around for $200k. If he doesn't score some more goals, hes not going to be asked to stay, at any price.

Posted by: fischy | June 14, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

@fischy: Jakovic is a fine soccer player (one of the best foreign signings we've made in years), and not at all the reason for our struggles. I can understand that you're referring to finances as well, but this seemed a bit harsh.

I also think it is unfair for fans to scream about the lack of creative play in the middle of the pitch after some of King's understated but clearly effective performances. Though he should have finished one against Salt Lake, dismissing his contribution or, please no, releasing him to make cap space would be stupid.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 15, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

and if we only had $200k under the cap, how'd we get him? Goodbye Luci?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | June 14, 2010 7:52 PM

Whoever said they had only $200k, under the cap? I ran the numbers at the start of the season. Even with a few additions since, they've gotta have at least $500k. Possibly much more.

As for Brankovic's salary -- it doesn't matter that he's a "smaller" DP. That only means that Will Chang is not paying him much above the salary ca hit, which is paid by MLS. The salary cap hit is now $335k for a full year -- but Brankovic --- and Ballack -- will count for only $167,500 against this year's cap. United surely has the cap room for two half-season DPs. I'm betting they can even afford to keep them for a full season next year.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't see where we have space for both Brankovic and Ballack in our first XI.

Posted by: benonthehill | June 15, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

@Demon -- King has definitely been an improvement over Morsink in the middle -- but the team still hasn't been especially threatening offensively. King may help us win the Open Cup, but DCU isn't going to contend for MLS Cup honors -- or do very well in CCL play (if we win USOC) -- with King directing the attack. Besides, if the team were to sign a Ballack, then a formation shift would be in order -- to a 4-2-3-1. There might still be room for King in that formation.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I hadn't seen the post about the salary #s. I guess there is some question about cap space available. Hopefully, the $253k for Emilio is a projected total -- not just for 2-month deal. If the team was just shy of $400k in cap room -- they could add Brankovic and another DP for the half-season. I guess the question is how much of that space went to Emilio. Next year, the team will have to clear some cap room. Presumably Moreno, Talley, Allsopp, Pena, Castillo, (of course, Emilio), and possibly Namoff will not be returned. That's anywhere between $600k and $1 million they might have to spend. Not too shabby.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Boskovic' salary is not necessarily north of $450k. The DP guidelines changed back in April -- the first DP now hits the cap only by $330k if they come in at the beginning of the season, and by $167k if they come in at mid-season (which is the case here). All we know is his *half-season salary* is more than $167k.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | June 15, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

@metzler -- I've wondered about that -- Did MLS just change the salary cap hit #, or did the league lower the threshold figure for DP contracts? I don't have the answer.

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse


MLS lowered the number and added a slot (so you can have 3 now).

On another note, I've seen all this talk of Ballack, but where did it come from? I know he's out at Chelsea, but do we really think he's coming to MLS, let alone DC? That would be amazing, but really?

Posted by: SoccerVA | June 15, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

By my count, DC has 21 senior roster players, 4 of what used to be developmental players, and 2 homegrown players. Unless Namoff was put on the injured reserve and I just missed the announcement, we'd have to cut someone (Emilio, most likely) to have room. It's not an international roster spot concern, but someone would have to go when Boskovic becomes eligible.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 15, 2010 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Re Ballack:
Bayer Leverkusen has announced their interest in signing Ballack.
With the BAYER money, they have no problems paying salaries.The starting strikers for Paraguay are both at Leverkusen as is germany reserve striker Stefan Kiessling. Do you think that Ballack would prefer playing behind them or Allsopp/Emilio?

Posted by: bechtoldpk | June 15, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand, he couldn't even crack PSG's starting lineup. That's hardly DP material.

Posted by: fischy

Sounds familiar.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

@Soccerva -- the Ballack to MLS talk has been around for awhile, but he fanned it recently himself, saying he wants to play and start in first division football and that the US is a possibility. Obviously, he likes the USA -- vacationing here. He wants to play in Euro 2012, so if a top German side wants him, he'll go there -- but, pulling a Beckham could also be an interesting possibility -- he might get greater interest if an MLS club is paying the lion's share.....

Posted by: fischy | June 15, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

What a pathetic use of a DP slot. Please sell the team to someone who actually cares about the franchise, Chang.

Posted by: grognard66 | June 15, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Ballack said that he was not ready to retire in the USA. He would be the second coming of Mattheus. We don't need that arrogant snot.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Honestly I am not understanding alot of the whine on here. I love the fact that this guy is in the prime of his career and CHOSE to come to UNITED. He isn't some washed up Euro star looking for one last pay day and a little fame/adoration. Also since he is a " small " DP the out of pocket cost will not be that sever.

Posted by: rightdm00 | June 15, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

rightdm00: just your typical kneejerk reactions -- people don't know the guy, see he isn't from Chelsea or England or Barcelona, and assume he isn't good.

Posted by: Reignking | June 15, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

How about Mido from Egypt as a striker. He does not seem to have a team right now.

Posted by: stephen_james2 | June 14, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse


Uh, no. That would be a very poor idea. He's pretty much the perfect example of locker room poison, for club and country.

Posted by: M__N | June 15, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised to hear the news this morning. Although I've never heard of him, I couldn't care one bit whether or not Branko is famous or not. Hopefully we'll see some notable contributions from him on the field.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 15, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

With Jacovic and now Boskovic, Chad Ashton is officially head of our Slavic scouting department. And then there is Dave Kasper heading our South American scouting staff. What future signing coups await us?

Posted by: b18bolo | June 15, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

LA gets Beckham. NY gets Henry. We get Brankovic. Do they have higher salary caps than we do? Posted by: ldmay

I know nothing about this Branko, but if your comparison is Beckham, Mr. I Add little to my squad, or Henry, I probably can't handle the physicality of MLS . . . then I'm all for Branko.

We've seen the BIG names do nothing, but the Schletto's of the world have advanced the league . . . and for less MOOLAH!

Posted by: delantero | June 15, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company