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Posted at 5:04 PM ET, 11/24/2010

D.C. United acquires midfielder Dax McCarty from Portland Timbers for defender Rodney Wallace

By Steve Goff

D.C. United traded second-year defender Rodney Wallace to Portland on Wednesday for midfielder Dax McCarty, whom the Timbers had claimed from FC Dallas with the first overall pick in the MLS expansion draft hours earlier.

United also received allocation money and sent a 2011 fourth-round pick to the Timbers, who will begin their inaugural MLS season in March.

Wallace, from Bullis School and the University of Maryland, started 11 league matches this year before breaking his leg and missing the rest of the season. In 2009, after being selected by United in the first round, he was among the league's top rookies, playing primarily on the left side of midfield.

McCarty, 23, was a vital player in central midfield for FC Dallas and helped the club advance to the MLS Cup for the first time, culminating in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday in Toronto. Since entering MLS, he has played in 93 regular season matches (71 starts) and recorded five goals and 17 assists.

McCarty was a regular with the U.S. under-20 national team and an Olympian in Beijing two years ago. In the past year, he has been called up to senior national team camps several times.

"Dax McCarty is one of our league's top midfielders, and we are pleased to welcome him," United General Manager Dave Kasper said.

By Steve Goff  | November 24, 2010; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Next: Weekend soccer TV listings: Thanksgiving edition

Comments

I like everything about this trade except .... why did FC Dallas give up on him so easily by leaving him exposed in the draft? I understand they have a younger player who they think can take McCarty's spot in the FCD lineup right away, but at a minimum, THEY could have traded McCarty to DCU for something tangible in return. Yet they got bupkus for him ....

Posted by: jofij | November 24, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Dax and Schellas didn't get along at all. With that said, maybe Dax and agent asked to leave and got their wish. Who knows the truth behind it all. I have a feeling that if FCD knew that DCU wanted McCarty bad enough, they would've tried to work something out though.

Posted by: voetbol07 | November 24, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Interesting trade; we'll miss Wallace. Left backs are hard to come by and our defense wasn't particularly strong last year. Where will the depth will come from next year?

Anyway, all the best to Rodney and maybe we'll see him again at Luxmanor sometime.

Posted by: Curious99 | November 24, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I like this trade. Our central midfield play last year was poor, especially when Boskovic was away in Euro qualifying. McCarty is a true box to box player. I hate to lose Rodney, but I think this is a good deal for DCU.

Posted by: BmoreDave | November 24, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure how I feel about this. I hope that we at least offered Burch to Portland before Wallace.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | November 24, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The most encouraging move that the FO has made since I can remember. Finally, they have realized that the team's lack of quality wasn't in defense, but in the gaping whole left in central midfield when they dismissed Christian Gomez for no apparent reason.

Posted by: FbAller | November 24, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The most encouraging move that the FO has made since I can remember. Finally, they have realized that the team's lack of quality wasn't in defense, but in the gaping whole left in central midfield when they dismissed Christian Gomez for no apparent reason.

Posted by: FbAller | November 24, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Give him the 10 SHIRT! BOOM Goes the Dynamite!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 24, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Timbers reject!

:)

I haven't had much time to digest the news. I liked Wallace and looked forward to seeing his continued improvement. I've never really liked Dax McCarty but his Ben Olsen style feistiness will look much better in black!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Encouraging.

Posted by: Jooseppi | November 24, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok just for fun:

Hamid; Zayner, Jakovic, James, Burch; Simms; Quaranta, McCarty, Boskovic, Najar; Angel/Santa Cruz

Posted by: benonthehill | November 24, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, I just finished watching the MLS Cup this afternoon. On Sunday night I had a game and didn't get home til the overtime was starting.

Overall, the game was fair entertainment as far as it being a tense match with plenty of drama. Much more tenacity than skill but that's been Gary Smith's style since he's coached the Rapids.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 24, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

1. McCarty did have some problems with Hyndman. Plus, FCD had to expose players--they could only protect so many guys. They lost two starters from the team that started in the MLS Cup. They exposed guys like Kyle Davies (who we wanted in a youth lottery and missed out on, the U-20 captain).

2. I can't believe the post about how gaping hole for dismissing Gomez for "no reason"--someone is engaging in revisionist history. Gomez asked for a contract that would still have him playing today for DCU, for guaranteed money and for an amount that was unrealistic. DCU kept going over deadlines in an effort to try and be decent to Christian. And then his play at first Colorado and then on his return here showed that his game had degraded. And, even if you believe that story, McCarty isn't the answer to any creative midfield challenges. He's a hard worker who covers a lot of ground. He's an upgrade over some of the people we have. The take in Dallas is that he got hot and had a couple of good months to end the season.

On balance it might be a good deal for DCU. And here's why: Wallace has yet to show he's a good left back. While that was his position in college, his rookie year he was mostly outside mid. but if Quaranta and Pontius both return and play well, than Wallace isn't a starter. You don't have to be a fan of Burch to admit that Wallace's play as a left back last year (before his injury) was mixed. So effectively we gave up an athletic and talented local guy who probably wasn't going to start for someone who might be Ben Olsen-lite (in terms of energy and instigation on the pitch). On-balance, probably good for us.

Posted by: JoeW1 | November 24, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

So does this Dax have an endosymbiot in his abdomen? Star Trek fans know what I'm talking about.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 24, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

We've filled one hole. Now we just need two forwards that are legit scoring threats, a competent right back and a center back to tie everything together.

We've been overloaded on left side talent for a couple of seasons. I hate to see Wallace go, but you need to give up talent to get talent and that's what we've done.

Vamos United!

Posted by: SoccerVA | November 24, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

McCarty, Simms, and Boskovic, provided Branko fully adjusts to MLS, is a heck of a central midfield. We still need to improve at center back and striker, but this is a good start to the offseason. I wonder how much cash we got.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 24, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I-270, I believe McCarty himself would be the endosymbiont. He has just been joined to RFK.

This is good news.

Posted by: dccal | November 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

So does this Dax have an endosymbiot in his abdomen? Star Trek fans know what I'm talking about.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 24, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse


He's no Terry Farrell, that's for sure!

Posted by: stwasm | November 24, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

He's Richie Williams with red hair. Pure ankle biter.

Posted by: delantero | November 24, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

OUCH! Thanksgiving has got to be a suck fest at Casa McCarty. Lose MLS cup and then find out you got traded to United.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 24, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Dems the Dax.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 24, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Like it. Simms and he in midfield will be all over the place. Let Bosko float a little, either on the left or in an advanced midfield/withdrawn striker thing... I like it.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 24, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I like it! I hope he can stay healthy...he did miss a bunch of games for FCD in 2010.

Posted by: soccerman | November 24, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a wait-and-see approach with Dax, mainly because the times I saw Wallace play, he would wind up stripping the ball from an opposing player deep in our end and then passing the ball back up. (Or was that someone else?)

Posted by: Juan-John | November 24, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm stunned! The front office made a good deal!

Wow......just wow.

Posted by: Hoost | November 24, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I love this move. Maybe things will start going in the right direction now. Hard to keep going any further in the wrong direction though.

Posted by: croftonpost | November 24, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

An above-average midfielder. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 24, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

HALLELUJAH.

With any luck, DCU will have the considerable luxury of playing against RW twice per season. Thank the Lord.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 24, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

wow for Dax McCarty

Posted by: gpoi | November 24, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Rodney - the DC fans wish you all the best in the Northwest. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful we have a balanced schedule in 2011 so we can give you a warm welcome at least once next year.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 24, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

True, Dax is an above average midfielder but he is a better distributor of the ball than Simms and Morsink.

This is why we brought Dax in because he's a proven commodity and an improvement over what we have in that position. Don't even say Tino can distribute because he just has poor ball control skills.

DCU should have put Burch on that list instead of Wallace since Wallace has better upside than Burch, and more dynamic attacking qualities than Burch. Only thing Burch can do is cross the ball with that left foot and telephones everyone before it happens.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | November 24, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow...what a STEAL!! Sure, Wallace has promise, but McCarty is one of the hardest-working, most respected American midfielders in the league, and he's hardly reached his peak at just 23. A 4th-round pick is nothing, especially when you consider that we got allocation money too. Now I'd like to see us go out and get:

-A LB (let's face it; Marc Burch is awful and Barry Rice is very young)
-A striker to complement Hernandez (he creates good chances, but isn't really a natural finisher. Imagine what he could do alongside an experienced goal-scorer like Santa Cruz or Angel?)
-A big, strong CB, probably in the draft (Yak and James have been serviceable, but unremarkable. We need someone to challenge them for their starting positions, something Pena was never healthy or spritely enough to accomplish).


If we add the above positions, I think we'll have a good core to build around. Our midfield is looking much better with McCarty, a (hopefully) healthy Simms, a recovered Pontius, and an adjusted Boskovic. Plus we have Quaranta, who could bounce back and have a fantastic year (it's happened several times before, so don't count Tino out!). Let's pray that the FO has a good draft, and doesn't waste its picks, which it has actually accumulated this year rather than dispersing for inferior and aging players, as it has done the lats several years.

The immediate future may not be all that bright, but there is at least a glimmer of hope for DCU. Now if only we can get that stadium done...

Posted by: kdiff813 | November 25, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a great move too, but isn't our central midfield a little crowded now with Simms and McCarty kind've filling the same role? Plus there is Boskovic who is also more comfortable in the center from what I understand.

A good manager can come up with a system to fit the players, a Chelsea-under-Mourinho 433 for example, (Tino would look good in an advanced wing position imo), but a second-coming of Soehn, or whoever the **** was our last coach, is going to see us playing somebody out of position, or some godawful 352.

It's a good move though, a step in the right direction. If he stays healthy he's a very good player, a real midfield general, and still really young.

Posted by: uranderson | November 25, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Pinch me.

I can't stop smiling. Really.

After seeing the DCU front office get fleeced in recent years, especially last year, it's a delightful surprise to see the team do it to someone else.

Wallace just wasn't that good. Maybe he has potential, but it was basically 100% unrealized. He has no right foot -- only Marc Burch is a more left-footed player -- and he wasn't able to make his speed count. He couldn't get by defenders on the wing, and every attempted cross was blocked by the defense.

Instead, we've got a serious soccer player -- someone who understands the game and makes the players around him look better. I expect McCarty to be a fixture in DC's midfield for the next 8 years, if he's cool with it.

I expect United to claim Ethan White, who should be a better prospect in defense than Wallace. White can play all four positions, so it's really where the team needs him. Shanofsky is surely too raw too to start now, so White will be the no. 1 back-up in central defense, and will probably get a shot at winning the right back spot. I know the team was pleased with Zayner, but I would like to see them find someone with more potential. Jed's a strong role player, but I'm not sure you win championships with him on the pitch. Having Zayner on the team gives me more confidence than I had in stiffs like Vaughn, but I'd rather count Zayner as depth.

It's possible the team drafts Kofi Sarkodie, in which case you can just hand him the spot for the next decade. Still, it wouldn't hurt to bring in some foreign talent in defense -- someone a little younger and fitter than Pena.

I expect the team to try and draft a young striker, rather than a defender like Sarkodie, but I would consider MF Dillon Powers, if he's available. He could be a real special player who could step in as a starter n a year, after Boskovic has moved on. The team also needs to find a g=proven goal-scorer up top. Actually, they need two new starting forwards. Cristman isn't going to cut it, and I'd rather see Najar in the midfield....at least, I think I do.

Having said that, it's barely possible that the team isn't far from respectability. WIth White in the pipeline, and the 3rd pick in the draft, United really just need to find 3 good imports to put together a pretty solid roster.

Posted by: fischy | November 25, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

1. Regarding the post about our midfield being a little crowded....good teams have crowds. You can never have too much talent.

2. I do hope DCU claims Ethan White. That's a huge asset for us.

3. I think at that point we're looking at a strong central defender and, agreed, two strikers (one of which is a proven goal scorer). I doubt Roque Santa Cruz is going to happen--not unless Chang adds another investor. Besides, as much as I'd love a player like that, I'd rather Payne and Change focus on the stadium issue (which is nearly a fulltime job if done well).

4. I wouldn't be adverse to adding Angel. He's got a bad back and can't play 32 games a season anymore. But with decent service (and between Hernandez, Boskovic, and Najar he'd get better service than he got two years ago with NYRB) he's still a fine finisher and good team leader.

Posted by: JoeW1 | November 25, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Credit where it's due; I think the DCU front office finally made a good trade.

Posted by: grognard66 | November 25, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

A very good deal, indeed. I watched Dax in the playoffs and wondered how come we didn't have young guy like that. With Sharonsky, Dax and Boskovic we have a strong core. Perhaps now we can off-load some of the mediocre dmids we've collected Simms, Morsink, King and play with only 1 at a time. Graye couldn't cross to save his life.

I like Pablo. Angel would be a god send.

Just for the record I would send Q2 packing as much as I admire his grit in turning his life around. Pontius is still a mystery. I would send Burch packing too. Despite a good left foot he is too slow and a defensive liability. I like James. Jakovic is gifted but lacks the necessary mentality, he is lax too often. Can he be coached to be a better player??

I'd also send Perkins packing. Not worth 200K. Go young and build. Dax is a great addition. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Posted by: RRP1 | November 25, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Dax is not a top midfielder in the MLS as the article suggests. Dax is a blue collar player with a high work rate and solid technical skills. He'll add some intensity and strength to the DC midfield. Wallace has a lot of passion, but his soccer skills are limited and he can't handle any sort of pressure. Plus for DCU.

Posted by: juke2 | November 25, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I would like to take the time to pat myself on the back for calling this one on the blog post revealing DCU's protected list. I only got the wrong left back.

"Trade Burch to Vancouver for Dax McCarty after they pick him.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | November 22, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mbyrd28 | November 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@mbyrd28 -- Props where it's due, but technically you got two things wrong. Portland picked McCarty, not Vancouver. I really don't understand what Portland is up to with its move, but they claim to have a better midfielder in their sights.

Posted by: fischy | November 25, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

After harping on their previous mistakes, I have to agree with all those who commend the front office for this move. Wallace was a good player but chances to grab a top young player such as McCarty don't come along often.

I do have to wonder whether it's too good to be true--does McCarty plan to leave soon for overseas? Given the other players available, I don't understand Portland selecting McCarty with its first pick and then immediately trading him for Wallace.

Posted by: hungrypug | November 25, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Me gusta. He's not the savior bet verry feisty. Wallace didn't totalysuck but he was certainly expendable...great trade bait.

VAMOS UNITED!!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 25, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

And he has a cool name...I like Dax to the Max!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 25, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

"Dax McCarty is one of our league's top midfielders, and we are pleased to welcome him," United General Manager Dave Kasper said.

Anyone who wants to know why our talent has consistently dwindled over the past 5 years needs only read this comment to understand. Either our GM is consistently full of hyperbole, or he legitimately cannot evaluate talent. There is no one who understands the game of soccer in their right mind that would make this ludicrous statement. If this statement had a shred of truth in it, Dax would not have even been eligible to be drafted. He is a worker bee. Our front office is becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

Posted by: el10diablo | November 26, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

OUCH! Thanksgiving has got to be a suck fest at Casa McCarty. Lose MLS cup and then find out you got traded to United.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA
----------------------------------------
True, if you mean going from a MLS Cup finalist to a cellar dweller, but on the other hand, at least he doesn't have to live in Dallas anymore!

Futbol or football...F Dallas.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 26, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

"Dax McCarty is one of our league's top midfielders, and we are pleased to welcome him," United General Manager Dave Kasper said.

Anyone who wants to know why our talent has consistently dwindled over the past 5 years needs only read this comment to understand. Either our GM is consistently full of hyperbole, or he legitimately cannot evaluate talent. There is no one who understands the game of soccer in their right mind that would make this ludicrous statement. If this statement had a shred of truth in it, Dax would not have even been eligible to be drafted. He is a worker bee. Our front office is becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

Posted by: el10diablo
-------------------------------

Classic example of how some DCU supporters have gotten so used to b!tching and moaning that they must do it even upon getting some rare good news.

Chill, dude.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 26, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I am reminded of someone I once knew who once wondered why people were always saying that two people can live as cheaply as one, and then rattled off a number of reasons why this proposition could not possibly be true. I finally said, "Patricia, it's just an effing expression, and you must be the only person in the world who would think of taking it literally." (Actually, I didn't use the term "effing".) Our language (and every other one, I suspect) is full of such expressions; e.g., stacking boxes on top of each other. Statements by GMs about player acquisitions fall into the same category. Why on earth would anyone subject them to a literal analysis?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 26, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@NICKYNUNYA: The fact of the matter is, whether we like it or not, is that MLS still has parity plaguing in the league. So there's a fairly decent chance FCD emerges next season as a cellar dweller while DCU could end up becoming one of the top clubs in MLS.

Posted by: T_Walter | November 26, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I like Dax, and I think he'll make Simms look a lot better. But I really like Rodney Wallace, and I wish we could have kept him on the squad.

Good luck RW! I'll be pulling for you in Portland!

Posted by: DWE4 | November 26, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Wallace called one of, if not the best left back in MLS by our beloved team president? If so why make this move? Dax is a nice player but is he that good? Not saying Wallace was going to be the next Patrice Evra but not sure this is the best move for the team. I guess Burch is now our new, old, left back.

Posted by: owendylan | November 27, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Dax is a boom or bust player. Wallace can be one of the best outside mids/backs in the league and the kid has speed. DC united has been Taken again.

Tman.

Posted by: tman111 | November 28, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Dax is a boom or bust player. Wallace can be one of the best outside mids/backs in the league and the kid has speed. DC united has been Taken again.

Tman.

Posted by: tman111
----------------------------

LOL! You're out on that ledge by yourself, pal. Only time will tell, of course, but this is a GREAT move by DCU (and acknowledged as such by 99% of the pundits out there).

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Awful trade. I'm calling it now. Dax is a decent holding mid, but Simms is better. Or at least as good. Wallace on the other hand, is a better than average left MIDFIELDER. He was WAY better in the mids than as a defender. You guys don't remember him playing behind his defender all the time? He repeatedly gave defenders fits playing as a mid. With him on one side and Najar on the other we were set for at least the next couple of years.

Posted by: Matte | November 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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