The silly season is starting to churn for D.C. United. After announcing trialists this morning, there are now reports out of Peru saying that D.C. United is interested in 20 year old midfielder Mario Tajima, currently of Club Universitario de Deportes. Tajima was born in Bolivia and was just naturalized as a Peruvian citizen, and is of Japanese and Bolivian descent. He seems to be embroiled in a contract dispute with his current club and has threatened to walk away from the team to attend business school in the United States, even though he is under contract through 2015. That threat came out yesterday and was followed today by news that D.C. United is interested in him, as long as they can get him for cheap (or for free). United may also have inside information, as former goalkeeper Jose Carvallo was loaned to DCU from Universitario and he returned to play for them this year.
Tajima has primarily played for the youth teams of Club Universitario de Deportes, including playing for them in the Under 20 edition of the Copa Libertedores. Based on the strength of that performance, he made his senior team debut this year, so it would seem strange for him to retire out of the blue unless he was engaged in a contract dispute behind the scenes. I'm sure those of you with Football Manager will give us that perspective soon, but this is closer to the type of players I would rather seen United try to sign: young, promising, and perhaps the ability to swoop in a get him on the cheap. Given the team's track record of signing players from Central and South America, I am supremely wary of this player, and with his contract status up in the air I am doubly wary of anything happening. However, new blood cannot do any worse than the old right now.