Dax McCarty has had quite an eventful offseason so far.
First he gets selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft, then he gets traded to last place D.C. United, and now he's been named to Bob Bradley's list of 24 players invited to U.S. National Team Training Camp in January.
The last D.C. player to get significant playing time with the USMNT while on United's roster? Ben Olsen. Yes, it all ties back to him.
Another name jumped out at me when reading the list of 24 players. Former D.C. United midfielder Ryan Miller, who made three CONCACAF Champions' Cup appearances with the club in 2008, but didn't see any time with the first team in MLS action, and was cut during training camp in 2009.
I don't want fans to criticize United for allowing a potential future USMNT player to be released. It's easy to look back and say that United should have know that Miller had a bright future. At least it's easy to say that if you never saw him play. Miller was outshined by fellow failed MLS prospects Dan Stratford and Ryan Cordeiro often that season, so I really don't fault the Tom Soehn regime much for not recognizing that he had much potential for growth.
Now back to McCarty. In addition to being named to the USMNT camp roster, it was also revealed this week that he'll be wearing the No. 10 jersey for D.C. United in 2011, joining Marco Etcheverry, Christian Gomez, and Marcelo Gallardo as the only players to wear that number in United history. Big shoes to fill kid.
Wait. Should we be reading anything into that? By granting the prestigious No. 10 jersey to a young player like McCarty, does that mean that the team will not be targeting a traditional central attacking midfield style No. 10?
Other jersey number changes: Branko Boskovic is now No. 8. Joseph Ngwenya will wear No. 11 and Conor Shanosky will wear No. 17. Nothing official yet for Ethan White or Steve Cronin (but the No. 1 is available).