The offseason is still young, and D.C. United has already made two major moves. The team has acquired Dax McCarty via trade, and Joseph Ngwenya via the first round of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. The second RED is this coming week, but we also have this new and incredibly broad report from the Soccer Insider Steven Goff.
The good news is that this is a clear sign that United is not content with its current roster. They know that they're not yet good enough. They know that more needs to be done for them to compete in 2011.
But there's a big problem. We don't have much left to trade away.
What does United have of value? Andy Najar, Bill Hamid, Santino Quaranta, Chris Pontius, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James. Oh yeah, and the third overall pick in the Superdraft.
The team would be crazy to trade away a high draft pick two years in a row. (Okay, I'm not entirely positive that Kasper wouldn't consider this, but I'm trying to convince myself that its true.) Najar and Hamid are too valuable for their homegrown roster status, and Quaranta is the team captain, so I think those three are safe.
I actually think Jakovic might be a possibility. He has decent trade value due to his youth and potential, and starpower quality in Canada in particular. United doesn't seem to be too high on Jakovic following his disappointing 2010 campaign. But I have no doubt that if we trade Jakovic away, he'll turn into an MLS Best XI type player. Bobby Boswell and Greg Janicki each went on to have great seasons as center backs in their first years after leaving D.C. If we trade Jakovic, I'm 100% certain that he'll do the same.
In the end, as absurd as it seems given our 2010 results, I don't want to see United make any blockbuster trades this year. The goal should be to build around the youth on the roster. Utilize the strong midfield. Add attackers. Shore up the defense.
The foundation of this roster shouldn't be questioned. Minor trades for role players are fine. But please please please don't sacrifice more of our youth.