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Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 12/14/2010

D.C. United signs Maryland's Ethan White to homegrown contract; Terps goalkeeper Zac MacMath is also turning pro

By Steve Goff

Ethan White, a sophomore central defender for the University of Maryland, is leaving school to sign with D.C. United. The Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School graduate rose through United's youth academy and will sign a contract under the MLS homegrown initiative, which encourages clubs to develop and sign emerging players.

White, who turns 20 on Jan. 1, started 43 matches in two seasons in College Park.

Said United Coach Ben Olsen: "We have been following Ethan for a long time with our academy and at the University of Maryland, and we think he is a great prospect for this club."

"His mind-set is that he is ready to turn pro," Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski said. White is 6 feet and 183 pounds. He joins a United backline in need of depth, particularly in central positions. White is the fourth homegrown player signed by United in the past 15 months, joining goalkeeper Bill Hamid (Annandale High), midfielder Andy Najar (Edison) and midfielder Conor Shanosky (Potomac Falls).

"I grew tremendously in the professional environment at Maryland and just felt that it was the right time to challenge myself and take the next step," White said.

Meantime, junior goalkeeper Zac MacMath has also decided to pursue a pro career, although he has yet to sign with a club, Cirovski said. MacMath told the Insider two weeks ago that he was preparing to leave school early. He is exploring European opportunities and also awaiting an offer from MLS.

Unlike White, MacMath is not aligned with a youth academy and, should he sign with MLS, he'd be available in the Jan. 13 draft in Baltimore. MacMath, the starter for the U.S. under-20 national team, had 34 shutouts in 64 career starts for the Terrapins.

Maryland junior midfielder Matt Kassel (New York Red Bulls youth academy) and junior forward Casey Townsend are also considering pro moves. Their decisions are expected within a week.

By Steve Goff  | December 14, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer, D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  D.C. United, Maryland Terrapins  
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Comments

This is fantastic news! Let the youth movement continue.

Posted by: BurchFan4 | December 14, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

This is fantastic news! Let the youth movement continue.

Posted by: BurchFan4 | December 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

As much greif that DCU fans give the league for making it hard for DC to succeed. MLS has given DC a great opportunity with the homegrown player rules. And just think, in a few short years there will be another academy in Baltimore

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | December 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I like this move a lot. I like the new homegrown player rules a lot.

Posted by: jake77 | December 14, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Which club developed White before he got to the United Academy?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 14, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I do wonder if this will effect the Conrad vs. JPA debate. Or if we'll still shock some people and take Hey-dude for outside depth.

Posted by: BurchFan4 | December 14, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

DC will take JPA, try to negotiate for a cheap contract and if not they will trade his rights to another team for draft picks. Beginning Kasper and Payne's second reich of youth over S.American footballers

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | December 14, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey, a BCC boy makes good for the hometown team! Finally..

Posted by: Solnoir | December 14, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey, this is great! Now we don't have to go for Conrad or Gibbs in the re-entry draft. SBI Tweeted that this kid is first-round talent, so he's an instant addition to our backline and will probably play in 20+ games.

Look at the young players we've accumulated: Hamid, Najar, Shanosky, Hernandez, Pontius, McCarty, and Simms, Quaranta, Perkins, and Jakovic are still a year or two away from their prime. We have two players over 30 (Bosko and James). We're definitely building a young team that should, in a couple years be a contender. I expect us to be far more competitive this year, and am so grateful for the homegrown players we've been able to sign over the past couple years.

Posted by: kdiff813 | December 14, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Look at the young players we've accumulated: Hamid, Najar, Shanosky, Hernandez, Pontius, McCarty, and Simms, Quaranta, Perkins, and Jakovic are still a year or two away from their prime."

Huh? Quaranta is 26. You really think a midfielder doesn't reach their prime until their late 20s? And Simms is 28!

Posted by: grabowcp | December 14, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Did/will White sign a Generation Adidas contract?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 14, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'd call Donovan and Dempsey in their primes right now, and they're both 28. Granted, Q may be an exception since he started so early and did so much crap to his body that he may have alreayd hit his prime. We'll find out in the coming years, I suppose. Didn't realize Simms was 28; I figured he was more like 25 or 26.

Posted by: kdiff813 | December 14, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Omar Salgado with the No. 3 pick anyone?

Posted by: BurchFan4 | December 14, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Don't everybody start thinking White is an automatic starter next year. His signing - while definitely and obviously the right decision - is made a lot easier by the larger roster size and the return of reserve games next season. I think that's where we'll see more of him and Shanosky than in first team appearances.

Also, I'd love to see Salgado drop to us at #3, especially if we pull a certain pure finisher down I-95 tomorrow in the Round 2 Re-Entry Draft to provide some on-field tutelage.

Posted by: TheAMT | December 14, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Don't everybody start thinking White is an automatic starter next year. His signing - while definitely and obviously the right decision - is made a lot easier by the larger roster size and the return of reserve games next season. I think that's where we'll see more of him and Shanosky than in first team appearances.

Also, I'd love to see Salgado drop to us at #3, especially if we pull a certain pure finisher down I-95 tomorrow in the Round 2 Re-Entry Draft to provide some on-field tutelage.

Posted by: TheAMT | December 14, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Way back in the day, I mean 90s he was with the Potomac cougars. I was buds with his older brother Nigel and we used to crush him in small sided games in the backyard. Have not seen him in years but clearly that would not be the case any lobger.

Posted by: bignoodles | December 14, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@ Rand-al-Thor --- Potomac SC

Posted by: OWNTF | December 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

yup - was Potomac Cougar player

Here's an article on Ethan from 2007
http://www.gazette.net/stories/102407/bethspo221238_32377.shtml

I had not made the connection between Ethan and Nigel until now

Posted by: emanon13 | December 14, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"His mind-set is that he is ready to turn pro," Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski said.

This is different from the ringing endorsement that Sasho gave MacMath.

"[MacMath] is definitely ready for the next step, and it's going to be Zac's choice," Terrapins Coach Sasho Cirovski said. "I'm not looking to keep Zac in school. If he ends up staying, I will be delighted, but he's ready to move into the next phase of his career. I'm ecstatic that I've had him for three years."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 14, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks BN/OWNTF/E13.

I don't mind the United Academy getting its share of the attention, but but kids playing in that system had to have a good six years of coaching before they get that far. Well done to the Cougars coaches who had their influence in White's development.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 14, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Caleb Porter isn't leaving Akron any time soon unless it is for a position of significance within the National Team Program(s). NC State & the ACC in general are not what they were 5 - 10 years ago; the other conferences have caught up and programs outside of the ACC are investing significant money / salary / resources in their respective programs.
On top of that Porter has another wave of Blue Chip talent committed and on its way Akron so even with the 5-6 student athletes he will lose to graduation / Pro game he will re-load not re-build. NC State needs a lot of work on all levels.
The Akron Zips were the best team this year & it is good to see them rewarded.
Go Zips and look for them to be in Birmingham, AL (Why NCAA Why??) next year
for The College Cup. 2010 Herman Trophy Winner prediction-lock {Darlington Nagbe | Akron} giving Akron back-to-back winners with Teal Bunbury last year and what should have been three in a row w/Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders) 2 years ago.
ZipSoccerNation growing ....
DC United should take a hard look at Kofi Sarkodie Akron right back who is a true Total Futbol talent; defends very well, great technique, loves to attack, big time speed & a leader. DCU needs players that are dynamic and he would fit the bill well & Olsen would love his approach + character.
Zips on a roll... not to late to jump on the Bandwagon SG...

Posted by: Zipfutbol | December 14, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@ I-270Exit1

But MacMath is a highly touted US keeper, and we all know how good you have to be in order to be styled as such. White seems like a first round defender who we never choose.

This gives us a chance to choose either Sardokie or Salgado. Not at all bad.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | December 14, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"But MacMath is a highly touted US keeper, and we all know how good you have to be in order to be styled as such."

------------------------------------------------------------

Like Chris Seitz?

I think it's crazy optimistic to expect White to step in as a starter, but he should be able to contribute this year. If he does, that would say more about how thinly talented United is. Still, I'm sure he'll be a great addition in years to come.

Posted by: fischy | December 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Zipfutbol, Sarkodie is my choice for the #3 draft. Provides offense as well has outstanding defensive abilities. Perfect replacement to step straight in if Namoff cannot play.

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | December 14, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I like what Sarkodie did in the Final Four and would be pretty satisfied if DC drafted him w the 3rd pick.

In other news, Congo's TP Mazembe - who beat Pachuca in the World Club Cup last Friday - did it again. Today they beat Inter of Porto Alegre 2-0 to advance to the final. They will play either Inter Milan or Seongnam (sp?) from Korea who play in the other semifinal tomorrow.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 14, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Caleb Porter isn't leaving Akron any time soon unless it is for a position of significance within the National Team Program(s). NC State & the ACC in general are not what they were 5 - 10 years ago;

Posted by: Zipfutbol

Surely you jest...UVA, UNC, UMd, WF...

Posted by: Reignking | December 14, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

United Demon 1: Whaddya mean we never draft defenders in the first round? There was David Stokes...

Posted by: Senor_Funk | December 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@ fischy- Seitz was a disappointment, but he was in a similar position to Guzan with Chivas (although nothing could ever equal that situation). Perhaps he's learned a lot and is ready to bounce back, who knows? Still, you can't point to one struggling young keeper and say he anything substantial about MacMath.

@ Senor_Funk, yep, but it was 7 years ago.We could really have used some defensive prospects in that period, don't you think? Bobby Boswell was the best we ever did, and he was a steal.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | December 14, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

James is 26.

And, young talent is always exciting, but let's not go nuts. Sometimes two years at UMD turns out to be only that.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | December 14, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

1. What Ethan White gives us is lovely depth. Yeah, he might start a few games. But our team needs a couple of things:
--depth (white and Ngwenya help there as does the #3 pick in the draft)
--a clinical finisher
--a defensive organizer and leader (not White nor anyone else on the roster)
If White ends up starting at center back it's b/c (a) he beats out Dejan Jakovic (not likely), or (b) Jakovic gets hurt or (c) we fail to sign a defensive organizer (which would mean more of the same--lots of late and easy goals given up).

2. Zipfootball--glad you're a fan and that Akron is playing well. But the ACC is clearly the top conference in college. To say "they aren't what they used to be" 5-10 years ago is kind of silly: the ACC has actually gotten better than they were 10 years ago.

3. I'd use the #3 pick on Salgado.

4. I don't rate Sarkodie as worth a #3 pick. Oh, he's a fine player. But I have problems choosing an outside back that high, especially since there are lots of potentially good outside backs available (either in the draft or in the league).

Posted by: JoeW1 | December 14, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon1 - I think (hope!) that Senor_Funk was kidding about the David Stokes pick.

I think we should pick Ampaipitakwong just to see it on the back of the shirt!

Posted by: combedge | December 14, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that sees parallels between Akron fans and Sounders fans?

Posted by: Pedalada | December 14, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon1 - I think (hope!) that Senor_Funk was kidding about the David Stokes pick.

I think we should pick Ampaipitakwong just to see it on the back of the shirt!

Posted by: combedge | December 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

ACC futbol still 1st rate no doubt about it and their depth on the conference is second to none. But the rest of College Soccer is catching up quickly.. and the ACC is no longer the lock to fill up the final 8 in the bracket...
Question: Who will score goals for DCU next season??? We need a hard - great in the air center back as well. Andy N. will be a marked man.

Posted by: Zipfutbol | December 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

National Title notwithstanding, Akron still isn't on the same level as the ACC powerhouses. The ACC is like the SEC in Football, they have hard matches all season long.

Outside of 5-6 non-conference matches, who were the Zips playing week-in and week-out?

That said, NC State is just cannon-fodder for the rest of the ACC.

On another note, I'm not sold on Sasho as being a great coach. Sure, he's an excellent recruiter, but the fact that Maryland lost at home to Michigan in the tournament, and hasn't won 3-5 Titles in his tenure with the talent he's had at his disposal is saying something.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 14, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the real problem with picking Sarkodie that United just signed White? White can play a number of positions, but isn't he projected as a right back, Sarkodie's position? These things are so uncertain -- still waiting to find out if Shanosky will be a D-mid or central defender. If DCU wants to use White in central defense, then Sarkodie is a good option, but this team needs scorers. Maybe Salgado, Bruin or Nagbe -- or, maybe a surprise with Meram, who scores everywhere he plays?

Posted by: fischy | December 14, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

National Title notwithstanding, Akron still isn't on the same level as the ACC powerhouses. The ACC is like the SEC in Football, they have hard matches all season long.

Outside of 5-6 non-conference matches, who were the Zips playing week-in and week-out?

Posted by: alecw81
---------------------------

If you had said that the MAC is not on the same level as the ACC that would be true, but saying the Zips are not is objectively false. They do not have the same strength of schedule because they play in a weaker conference, but they are clearly not only as good but better than all the ACC schools (at least this year).

That said (and I mean no offense), but there are a bunch of ACC college towns I would want to live in before Akron, Ohio. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Porter might just want to live somewhere else at some point. If he can win the NC with the Zips he can win in the ACC.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 14, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

alecw81:
National Title notwithstanding, Akron still isn't on the same level as the ACC powerhouses.
Outside of 5-6 non-conference matches, who were the Zips playing week-in and week-out?

The Akron Zips have had the #1 or #1a RPI the last 3 years.
Beat UNC 3-0 @ Chapel Hill this year & Wake 2-0 @ Wake on the same Tournament Weekend.
ACC Highlights this year:
Virginia eliminated 1st round NCAA (but you get "Hunter Jumper" for 1 more year)
Duke > 9 regular season wins shouldn't have even received an at-large
Clemson > non-factor 5 wins-9 losses 4 Ties
NC State > cannon fodder
Fla. State > great Womens soccer
Boston College > lost to Brown in 1st rd.
Georgia Tech > still plays Club Soccer
Virginia Tech > 5-13-1 this year

The ACC is a 3 team league these days w/UVA, MD & UNC at best living off the 1980's & 1990's results (legend) Overall the ACC is going backward not forward but then again if Georgia Tech & Fla. State jump in then you are right...all bets are off!
Akron beat Michigan 7-1 earlier in the year & MD loses to them @ home w/a final four birth at stake....YIKES!
But their soccer camps are HUGE money makers... I believe that we have won! Go Zips!

Posted by: Zipfutbol | December 14, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Pedalada,
Nope...;)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 96 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 14, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The ACC is a 3 team league these days w/UVA, MD & UNC at best living off the 1980's & 1990's results (legend)

Posted by: Zipfutbol

Look at last year's final four.

Posted by: Reignking | December 14, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

This story has gotten into Wednesday's print editions:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/14/AR2010121405215.html

Posted by: universityandpark | December 15, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

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