The second round of the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft was this afternoon, and D.C. United is closing the day -2. They passed once again, standing firm on their commitment to not rearrange the deck chairs this offseason. In the mean time, United saw Marc Burch and Clyde Simms, two of the three longest standing members of the team, depart for other MLS cities.
Burch was taken first overall in the draft by the Seattle Sounders, who thought so highly of the defender that they actually moved up to get him. The Sounders sent a future draft pick to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the right to lock up the former University of Maryland forward who has been a starter on-and-off for United at left back the past five seasons.
Simms was the second player drafted today by the New England Revolution, and should start immediately for them in central defensive midfield behind Shalrie Joseph. Simms has started no fewer than 20 games for D.C. each of the past seven seasons, which is quite an accomplishment in MLS, and surely leaves the team with a heavy heart.
We knew this day would come for both players. For Simms, the writing has been on the wall since Perry Kitchen moved to the CDM role that he played so well in college. His concussion suffered in the final game of the season against Sporting Kansas City was an unfortunate end to his fabulously consistent United career. Similarly for Burch, when Ben Olsen inserted him at halftime for Daniel Woolard in that game, it just felt like Olsen was giving the veteran a final chance to say goodbye. Both players will be missed.
With eight players officially dropping off United's roster today (Devon McTavish, Kurt Morsink, Joseph Ngwenya, Brandon Barklage, Steve Cronin, and Jed Zayner were not taken, and are therefore free agents), we felt pretty confident that United would start the process of shaping their 2012 roster today. They didn't. One player that we identified earlier as a potential target for United, Nate Jaqua, was taken by the Revolution before D.C. had a chance to grab him. But, given what we saw from the team today, its unlikely that they would have taken the target forward anyway. Or anyone else.
The other players selected in the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft Round 2 were Kheli Dube by the Chicago Fire, Baggio Husidic and Hunter Freeman by the Colorado Rapids, and a huge collection of players who were decent MLS starters in 2007 by the Los Angeles Galaxy (Andrew Boyens, Chris Leitch, Pat Noonan, Jon Conway, Frankie Hejduk, and Dasan Robinson).