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Posted at 1:33 PM ET, 02/17/2011

D.C. United waives defender Julius James

By Steve Goff

D.C. United has waived central defender Julius James, who started 16 league matches last season but fell on the depth chart after the club's winter acquisitions of first-round draft choice Perry Kitchen and Uruguay's Rodrigo Brasesco.

James, acquired from the Houston Dynamo late in the 2009 season, was fourth on the club in minutes played last year and scored the winning goal at Toronto FC.

Kitchen, Brasesco and Dejan Jakovic are United's primary center backs. Marc Burch (left), Jed Zayner (right) and Devon McTavish (right) and rookie Ethan White can provide cover in the middle.

In an unrelated move, United acquired allocation money (to apply toward future acquisitions) from the Los Angeles Galaxy for an international roster slot.

Meantime, Brazilian midfielder Junior Carreiro, who sprained an ankle last week, did not accompany the team to California for training camp. The length of his absence has not been determined.

By Steve Goff  | February 17, 2011; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United, Julius James  
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Comments

Could it be that DC United is finally acquiring some real depth this year? As someone else noted, we could start off the year with Qaranta, Jackovic, and Pontius all riding the pine. Not bad!

Posted by: jofij | February 17, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Could it be that DC United is finally acquiring some real depth this year? As someone else noted, we could start off the year with Qaranta, Jackovic, and Pontius all riding the pine. Not bad!

Posted by: jofij | February 17, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Steve,
Could you explain mls roster rules...allocation money...international roster slot..etc

Posted by: feeds02 | February 17, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Really wondering about this move. What happens if one of our other Center Backs gets injured/suspended while PerryK is away with the U20's? We go from well stocked to thin pretty fast.
Maybe more Clyde at Center Back?

Posted by: joemybro | February 17, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm as big a front office apologist as you'll find, but I just don't get this one. Surely you could trade him for *something.*

Posted by: spidergoose | February 17, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

James played a lot of minutes on a terrible team and wasn't very good. They shopped him around. No one was interested in relinquishing anyone or anything. He might get picked up at some point.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 17, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Surely you could trade him for *something.*

Posted by: spidergoose | February 17, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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

Maybe that's what they essentially did. He was occupying one of the Senior International slots, no? So, they dump him and trade his SI roster slot for allocation money. Pure speculation on my part though...

Posted by: combedge | February 17, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Two of his greatest moments for the Black & Red:

DCU at Kansas City - 10/24/09 - scoring while injured at 3:30 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xnmFSZYl5U

DCU at Toronto - 9/11/10 - scoring the only goal of the game at 3:00 mark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdKXCFRh6E8

Posted by: Pedalada | February 17, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

combedge: no. James had a green card. He did not occupy an international slot.

I don't understand this either. He made some mistakes last year, as did everyone on the team; but overall I thought he played better (and definitely with more fight) than Jakovic did. Heck, Jakovic made some *absolutely horrific* errors last year, errors that directly resulted in goals and lost matches. And even if Kitchen has showed so well that he'd take a starting place with Jakovic, you still need some depth, and James was really cheap.

James fought, and could play. We haven't had many players with *both* those qualities the last few seasons.

I do not understand.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 17, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

This makes me worried about depth, unless there is another DC coming in. On the other hand, this makes me feel great about how Kitchen must be performing.

Posted by: Dancy1 | February 17, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Seemed to me that James was more productive and had more impact last season than either Burch or McTavish. I guess we'll only know if all of this makes a difference half way through next season.

Posted by: marcool | February 17, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Can anybody tell me why burch is still in a DCU uniform? Seriously? Am I the only 1 who thinks that?

Posted by: rigs88 | February 17, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Kitchen must be the greatest rookie defender ever if they think he could shoulder the burden of starting. Even Boswell, who had a fantastic rookie season, hit a wall.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 17, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Can anybody tell me why burch is still in a DCU uniform? Seriously? Am I the only 1 who thinks that?

Posted by: rigs88 | February 17, 2011 1:57 PM

I thought he looked much improved in the handful of games he played in last season.

Could this possibly have something to do with the formation the General wants to run this year? If he is thinking of primarily using 3 in the back, James probably doesn't fit very well.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 17, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

At this rate - I'm going to need a media guide to identify the Black and Red Starting XI

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 17, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, have never thought Burch was as bad as some of the complaints would have you believe.


Just one man's opinion without tears...

Posted by: JkR- | February 17, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

At this rate - I'm going to need a media guide to identify the Black and Red Starting XI

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 17, 2011 2:02 PM

after the past few seasons, dont you think thats a good thing?

Posted by: VTUnited | February 17, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@VirginiaBlueBlood: not necessarily a bad thing.

Posted by: Matte | February 17, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@feeds02 - don't wait for Goff to explain the rules to you, read them yourself here:

http://www.mlssoccer.com/2011-mls-roster-rules

@I-270 - perhaps they are looking at Tim Ream's success with NYRB last year and think that Kitchen is at least as good coming in (he was certainly drafted much higher). also, i have yet to get tired of watching the part of this video that starts around 0:53 in. stunning goal.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 17, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@Goff,

From what I remember, the Cristman from KC trade for an international slot was a 2-year deal. So does that mean we're -2 int'l slots this year? And how long does LAG keep this slot?

Posted by: benonthehill | February 17, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

WTF. I can't believe this move. I reckon it had something to do with off-field issues. There are other defenders who aren't as good James.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 17, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I was pretty happy with the decisions made so far in the off-season, which at large have to have been made with a heavy Olsen influence.

There are a bevy of players that should be moved before James. Quaranta? Burch? King? Gimme a break, all of those guys are ghosts of crappy teams past. We need an exorcist!

This reeks of Kasper--what an idiot.

Posted by: FbAller | February 17, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

You bet it is!

It was a long slow painful realization that the previous core of DC United had peaked and declined.

The steps from "We're a couple of plays away" to "We're a couple of players away" to "Lowest Offensive Output EVER!" were painful.

We've cleared the decks. Kept on some existing parts. We've gotten younger. We're still looking.

Hopefully our youth can mature - but I'm liking where Benny is taking this.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 17, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ok got the answer to my first question. Apparently MLS reset international slots to 8 across the board for 2011.

Posted by: benonthehill | February 17, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe CD9 can also play CB??

Posted by: rockotodd | February 17, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Keeping Jakovic over James? Jakovic had a horrible year. And at least James could stay on the field.

Posted by: ihillvt | February 17, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I was pretty happy with the decisions made so far in the off-season, which at large have to have been made with a heavy Olsen influence.

There are a bevy of players that should be moved before James. Quaranta? Burch? King? Gimme a break, all of those guys are ghosts of crappy teams past. We need an exorcist!

This reeks of Kasper--what an idiot.

Posted by: FbAller | February 17, 2011 2:26 PM

Burch and Quaranta were role players on teams that were successful. James was a role player on the worst team in MLS history, and that was probably his ceiling.


Posted by: VTUnited | February 17, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info @ christopher_a_metzler

Given that, I don't get the move. Did he have a large salary? Or maybe the FO have a follow-on acquisition up their sleeves?

Posted by: combedge | February 17, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's not bring up 'off the field issues' where NONE are known to exist, mmmkay?

Posted by: JkR- | February 17, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the hate on Jakovic. He may have had an occasional howler, but he was clearly our best defender.

Surprised to see James go, but that speaks highly of the rest of the pack.

Posted by: -rke- | February 17, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Jakovic had a bad year last year, but so did every player on the team not named Andy Najar. DJak has a lot going for him size and ability-wise that James just will never be able to match.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 17, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Ever since I've seen Burch I never saw anything special in him. Bad positioning, a lot of ball watching, amateur like errors, can't read the game well and most of all can't put a decent shot on target( apparently kicking a ball hard is enough to have a spot in DC)... if the front office would do their jobs they should waive Burch and get a better dynamic player.... but that's kp's call...

Posted by: rigs88 | February 17, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@ riggs88 - I'm with JkR on Burch. He's not as bad as some make him out to be. He didn't make the glaringly bad mistakes that Graye did, but he occasionally got caught too far forward trying to make one of his excellent left-footed crosses. I could easily see a "Burch to CD9" connection resulting in at least a few Black & Red goals this summer.

Posted by: soccerman | February 17, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why they made this move now, but I'm guessing it's b/c of the confidence in the others made James expendable.

Re: Burch . He has no right foot. It
is more than pathetic for a professional player to be so unilateral. Everyone has figured it out too. Just watch how players approach him, and how quickly they attack him if the ball is on his right foot.

Posted by: delantero | February 17, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

WAAAY off topic, but the US Open Cup plan is out...and no NASL (the US Soccer D2 provisionally sanctioned league) are included/eligible. Here's the link:

http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Lamar-Hunt-U-S-Open-Cup/2011/02/Structure-and-Schedule-Finalized-for-2011-Open-Cup.aspx

Posted by: soccerman | February 17, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Burch has been injury plagued while James seems to recover faster if I'm not mistaken. I thought James added a bit of aggression to the D. Does Burch have an iron clad contract that prevents him from being traded or released? Cause everyone else has been a target of trades or waivers except him.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | February 17, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Burch would be alright as a wingback if he improved his quickness and overall pace.

As it is, he's a terrible fullback whom I wouldn't pick for a small-sided pick-up game

Posted by: alecw81 | February 17, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@ delantero - I'm not comparing the skill level, but I can count on just one hand the number of quality balls I've seen Ryan Giggs hit with his right foot in 21 years at Old Trafford. Nothing wrong with a left side defender exclusively using his left foot.

Posted by: soccerman | February 17, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for diggin' up those clips Pedelada. That goal against KC was pretty legendary in my book. At least he got another season out of it, still if others have displaced him I understand waiving him.Oh well.

Good luck Julius, hope you land somewhere sunny and warm, with a beach nearby. Charleston!?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 17, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

combedge: no. James had a green card. He did not occupy an international slot.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 17, 2011 1:52 PM |

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

I asked about this last week, as well as wondering how many international slots the team held. The reason I asked was because I seemed to recall something about james and a green card -- was it receipt or merely an application? DC United's roster last week listed James as a Senior International. Based on that, I think there's a definite connection with the two moves.

Allocation money sounds great, though I still believe the team had gobs of cap room. If they're saving up this allocation, that would suggest they're scoping out a big-time international or two. But, then there's the thing about intenantional slots....

Posted by: fischy | February 17, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

How big are the new guys? Who's going to lean on Conor Casey and Kenny Cooper?

Posted by: OWNTF | February 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Steve, I'd love to see what you think the projected starting 11 will be this year. There's so much depth and talent at midfield right now I'm struggling to pick the starting 4.

Posted by: AJMarcinko | February 17, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Irregardless of what one thinks of Mr. Burch's skills, musn't a DC United supporter always and forever have a soft spot for him due to his close relationship with Mr. Blanco?

Posted by: OWNTF | February 17, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Does no one remember that it was James who put Jakovic out for six weeks or so? In 2009, Jakovic was a revelation at central defense and, other than James' remarkable final game of that season against KC, was much better than James.

No one seems to remember that broken collar bone Jakovic incurred thanks to James's boot in that game in Philadelphia. Sure it was an accident, but it was a pretty careless move on James's part that really illustrated he was not as skilled as some on here seem to think. I don't think that alone was responsible for the team's dismal season, but it certainly didn't help when our second most experienced (Pena being the first) and most in form central defender was injured for a large chunk of the season.

James's "spectacular" last season was due in large part to the fact that he was the only real central defender for much of it. By the time Jakovic finally got back up to speed, the season had already been lost and the team morale was pretty low.

As far as skill is concerned, I don't think he's too hard to replace. I was more disappointed with the waiver of Lawson Vaughn in the 2010 preseason. I thought he looked pretty good at the end of 2009. Of course he has yet to resurface, so the front office must have seen something I didn't.

All that said, I met James at one of those meet the team gatherings, and he was one of the nicest, most down to earth players on the team. I wish him the best of luck.

Posted by: AlwaysTimeForProcrastination | February 17, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I thought James made big strides last year, and thought that he kept us in a few games despite woeful offense. I guess Kitchen must be beast.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | February 17, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't like this move at all.

DC had a terrible season last year but the defense wasn't the main culprit and James was arguably our most reliable player in the back.

I haven't seen Brasesco play and Kitchen has never played professionally yet. Best silver lining I can see in this is that shows confidence in other unproven players like Ethan White and Conor Shanosky.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | February 17, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I've honestly forgotten Shanosky was on the roster. I'm not really expected too much from him, and there's a chance he'll be gone for all the U-20 games, with Kitchen.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 17, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

DCU now has 6 international roster slots for use in 2011. On 1.1.2012, DCU regains the spot it traded to KC for Adam Cristman. On 1.1.2013, DCU regains the spot it traded to LA today.

The only other DCU trades I know about involving international roster slots were made with Colorado in 9/2008 and 2/2009. DCU gained slots in each deal but those have since reverted back to the Rapids.

The league did not reset each club to 8 slots this off-season, it merely clarified how many slots each club started with and how many are available league-wide.

Posted by: bubba24 | February 17, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Put me down as being puzzle by this move.

That said, I trust Ben and I really like what I've seen so far. So if Ben's good with it, I am too.

Posted by: edmundburke247 | February 17, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

You guys are talking about Burch being shaky? What about McTavish? That guys is a disaster when he gets in. I thought James was better than McTavish skills wise (which is not saying all that much), but I guess its a depth issue with a dearth of centerbacks.

Posted by: alan19 | February 17, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

DCU reporting that Onstad is to begin training immediately and will fill our void in goal. No word on compensation to Houston.

Posted by: fedssocr | February 17, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't think James isn't one of our 30 best players. By cutting him now, what this tells me is that there were other issues (locker room?) that became a factor. I know James badmouthed Onalfo a lot and said he never got a fair shake.

Personally, I go with Jakovic over James. Jackovic's 2009 was much better than James' 2010. Additionally, when Dom Kinnear (who is all about chemistry and players fitting in and can make guys like Dominic Oduro productive) gives up on a player, than I'm suspicious.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 17, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

One other thing...I thought I saw some of the DCU rosters for the U20 matches (vs. T&T and Canada) with Shanosky playing centerback. Yeah, Kitchen is a rooke (and basically so is Shanosky). And we can come up with all sorts of scenarios where if so-and-so gets injured or goes to the U20 team we get thin (don't forget suspensions too!). But the angst over James strikes me as similar to the "woe is us" comments when we traded Fred.

I think James is serviceable. But I think it would have been a very sad statement if he'd continued to start for us. So to me, this is about: could we have gotten something for him in a trade (a #4 draft pick?) or was he that much of a team issue that we needed to dump him right now?

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 17, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

30 days until DC United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | February 17, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm absolutely astonished by some of the comments about James.

At best James was a stopgap measure at Center-back and in no way shape or form is he a MLS starting caliber player.

The other thing is that Jakovic is just head and shoulders a better player than James. Jakovic struggled last year because the play around him was so bad there were too many holes for him to plug. In trying to plug those holes got either hurt or ended up looking bad, much in the way a Quarterback looks bad when a Wide Receive runs the wrong route and the pass looks way off.

Jakovic is a gifted player that has all the tools to be MLS All Star - touch, poise on the ball, positioning, tackling and one on one defending.

Posted by: dcufan531 | February 17, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

DC's got something in the works.....Allocation money, making room for somebody?

Posted by: dcufan2 | February 17, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

DC's got something in the works.....Allocation money, making room for somebody?

Posted by: dcufan2 | February 17, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

not good. mctavish and burch are horrible. james way better

Posted by: castroviejo | February 18, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

James is a good player. Best aerial skills on DCU, by far (granted, that is saying almost nothing), and quite a good tackler by MLS standards. Full international for T&T. Big body, reasonably quick feet.

Jakovic' injury was devastating, and it's a miracle that he's back in form (writeups had him as Canada's top performer vs. Greece). A broken collarbone can end your career, anyone who's had one knows this. But to blame such a freak injury on James is idiotic, sorry.

On the one hand, I think DCU is better off with this player, rather than playing against him. On the other hand, hopefully this means they're confident in their defensive corps, and James needs a shot at more minutes somewhere else.

One thing's for certain, this isn't the same squad that employed Greg Janicki for TWO YEARS.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | February 18, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I can say for Marc Burch is that he definitely has one powerful left footed shot. He has the ability to drive a free kick with power. With that being said he is a defender. While not the only one who is a free kick specialist, usually the like can actually, you know ... win balls.

One thing that is particuarly frustrating about Burchy is that whenever he gets the ball ... you can bet money that he's simply going to chuck up a long ball. He seemed to have no concept of getting involved in the short passing game or linking up with midfielders. He would instead kick the ball over the midfielders' heads.

Posted by: CRiordan1 | February 19, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I can say for Marc Burch is that he definitely has one powerful left footed shot. He has the ability to drive a free kick with power. With that being said he is a defender. While not the only one who is a free kick specialist, usually the like can actually, you know ... win balls.

One thing that is particuarly frustrating about Burchy is that whenever he gets the ball ... you can bet money that he's simply going to chuck up a long ball. He seemed to have no concept of getting involved in the short passing game or linking up with midfielders. He would instead kick the ball over the midfielders' heads.

Posted by: CRiordan1 | February 19, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I can say for Marc Burch is that he definitely has one powerful left footed shot. He has the ability to drive a free kick with power. With that being said he is a defender. While not the only one who is a free kick specialist, usually the like can actually, you know ... win balls.

One thing that is particuarly frustrating about Burchy is that whenever he gets the ball ... you can bet money that he's simply going to chuck up a long ball. He seemed to have no concept of getting involved in the short passing game or linking up with midfielders. He would instead kick the ball over the midfielders' heads.

Posted by: CRiordan1 | February 19, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

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