WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013 — D.C. United’s ability to spot overseas talent is not looking good.
The struggling team terminated the contract of Brazilian forward Rafael on Wednesday. Rafael, who appeared in seven matches (4 starts), is now the third overseas player who joined the club at the start of the season and has been let go. In recent weeks, the club has parted ways with Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto ( 7 games, 5 starts) and highly touted Panamanian midfielder Marco Sanchez (9 games, 6 starts).
In an interview posted on the club’s website today D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said the solid play of Casey Townsend and in recent games and fianancial considerations, were the reason Rafael was let go.
“In the end, with a looming decision on a big transfer payment for a player on loan, we felt it would be wiser to look to invest funds toward players elsewhere,” Kasper said.
Rafael, who scored 10 goals in 36 games in the Brazilian top flight, was signed on loan from Brazilian Serie A side Bahia as a Young Designated Player on Jan. 9, 2013.
Kasper said that the club would be adding at least two more players in the near future. Said Kasper: “We are looking to add two to three players this summer, and we have salary cap and allocation money to make some moves.”
United fans have aired their frustration on many forums in recent weeks over the club’s signings, but Kasper said the team was working hard to find talent.
“We have scouted all around the globe in the past six months and have some good options that we are tracking for now and in the future,” Kasper told the club website. “The scouting process takes time to implement.
“For example, the actual signing dates of Luciano Emilio and Christian Gomez (two MLS MVPs while with United) happened several years after they were initially scouted. We are happy that ownership has committed resources to this end, and we look forward to future outcomes.”
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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