Word broke today from the assembled D.C. United press that the team has two trialists in camp: English striker Akpo Sodje and American defender Frank Simek. Simek is a right back who has played for Sheffield Wednesday in the Football League Championship and has spent the last three seasons with Carlisle United in League One. Before that, he played for the Arsenal Academy and reserve team.
Simek has played five games for the United States Men's National Team, all in 2007; he was also called into the team in 2010, but did not play. However, because of MLS's arcane rules, that means that he would have to go through the allocation ranking rather than through the discovery signing process. Since United signed Carlos Ruiz through the allocation process, they are near to or at the bottom of the rankings and would need to either trade up or be assured that no one else would want Simek. He could be an interesting player, but is another in the oft-injured camp.
Akpo Sodje is the other trialist who is currently with D.C. United and is a 33 year old target striker who has made a career out of primarily being journeyman in the lower divisions of English soccer. Since 2009, Sodje has played in the League One, the Scottish Premier League, the Chinese Super League, League One again, and is leaving a team that was just relegated from League One to League Two. For Sodje to sign with D.C. United, the team would have to acquire or free up an international roster spot. His resume does not make him seem like a player who would succeed in MLS or the kind of player that MLS teams should be targeting.
Also of note is the fact that scouting coordinator Kurt Morsink has returned from a trip to France and Portugal. The rumor mill is officially on.