Upon learning that his team would have the first overall selection of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper first tried to trade the RED pick, along with Clyde Simms and a third round Superdraft choice, to the LA Galaxy for Eddie Lewis. Once he realized that that isn't really how the RED works, Kasper selected Joseph Ngwenya.
The 29-year old forward from Zimbabwe was the best value available in the draft. Ngwenya made $72,000 last season, making him much more affordable than the other players eligible for the Re-Entry Draft. He scored only one goal in 16 matches with the Houston Dynamo in 2010, meaning he'll fit in quite well with United's current roster. D.C. United will actually be Ngwenya's eighth team since 2006.
Ngwenya couldn't crack the starting lineup on a Houston team that had its worst finish in years, but he's fairly tall, fast, and experienced. I expect Ngwenya to compete with Adam Cristman for the role of the first forward off the bench. SB Nation's Dynamo blog Dynamo Theory thought that Ngwenya was the most likely Houston player to be selected in the in the Expansion draft last month.
United has many needs to fill. Ngwenya fills one of them. There's only so many starters that you can draft, and they can't afford to sign a whole new roster from overseas. Therefore United has to use what other options they have available to help craft a winning team for 2011. This is one small step of what is likely to be many.