We're rounding up the long weekend's United-centric news. On the docket: D.C. United lands in Florida to find a Gladiador waiting for them; the Black-and-Red have a new South African midfielder (by way of Manchester, Leverkusen and Vancouver), and Pat Onstad has left the building.
I love a three-day weekend. Especially one that really only exists here in the District of Columbia. With the inauguration out of the way, though, it's back to business here at B&RU. Of course, D.C. United didn't take the weekend off - they traveled to Florida to start training camp, officially signed a veteran midfielder and bid farewell to Toronto FC's newest scout.
The Black-and-Red's newest designated player (and first young DP) has arrived in Florida and completed his first training session with United over the weekend. According to the team website, Rafael participated fully in Sunday's training in Bradenton, which included small-sided games.
Thorrington Signs on the Line
Veteran midfielder John Thorrington and United have agreed to terms and the former Vancouver Whitecaps player has signed with the Black-and-Red. United acquired Thorrington in the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry (don't call it a comeback or a) Draft. Here is ChestRockwell's take on Thorrignton's game - the Manchester United product most likely fits in as a number 8 (box-to-box midfielder) and would slot in next to Perry Kitchen in Ben Olsen's 4-4-2/4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1.
Bidding Adieu to the 'Keepers Coach
This morning, D.C. United officially announced what has been rumored for a while now: the team has agreed to part ways with goalkeepers coach Pat Onstad, who will be joining Toronto FC as their Chief Scout and Manager of Football Partnerships. This is potentially a big loss for United (and, honestly, for U.S. Soccer), as Onstad helped Bill Hamid grow over the last couple years from a freak physical specimen but very raw player into a proper goalkeeper with the best save percentage in the league last year. Whoever succeeds him at RFK will hopefully prove as able to guide the growth of our talented stable of netminders.