Will Andik Vermansyah be back with the D.C. United U-23 team? - Rebecca Payne/dcunited.com
According to reports from Indonesia, D.C. United will add three young Indonesian players to their U-23 team.
The offseason is now in full swing, even though MLS Cup 2012 has not yet been played, having been kicked off by a waiver draft yesterday. Today, there are reports out of Indonesia, includes quotes from team owner Erick Thohir, that three Indonesia players will be signed to play with the D.C. United U-23 team in January. One of those reports states that the three players are a defender, a midfielder, and a winger and that the announcement as to their names will be made next week. The Indonesian Premier League season runs January to July, and so if these players joined United it seems unlikely that they could play the Indonesian season as well.
United's U-23 team has played exhibitions each of the past two summers against teams in the USL Premier Development League, the National Premier Soccer League, and friendlies against the Barra Brava. It is thought that they will eventually attempt to play the full USL PDL season, which runs from the beginning of May to the beginning of August and allows U-23 players to compete in the college offseason while retaining their eligibility. The D.C. United U-23 team is currently coached by team legend Jaime Moreno.
It is as of yet unknown if one of these three players will be Andik Vermansyah, the "Indonesian Messi" who trained with D.C. United this fall. Vermansyah is currently engaged in a contract dispute with his current club and so it would seem to be a possibility if that dispute cannot be resolved. Vermansyah has been denying rumors that he has been signed to the senior club, which does leave open the possibility of this move. Regardless of Vermansyah's participation, these signings would be a good balance between Thohir's obvious desire to promote and develop Indonesian players and fitting them into the team structure as a whole.