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D.C. United 2018 season review: Jared Jeffrey

A scarcely-used D.C. United vet goes under the microscope

MLS: D.C. United at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

How do you write about a guy who played for D.C. United for six years, but had 2 appearances for 2 minutes played in 2018, whose contract option has been declined, and who seems likely bound for lower league play, as Jared Jeffrey seems to be?

Well you go for the memories, like his first goal in 2013 against Toronto FC:

Or his goal last year against the New England Revolution:

But I digress. Jeffrey was signed to a two-year deal after the 2016 season, and in 2017 saw career highs in games (23), starts (19) and minutes (1,617). But in large part, this was due to a couple of circumstances (namely homegrown player Chris Durkin being away with the United States youth national team, and Marcelo Sarvas’ dip in form) that weren’t part of the plan. When Russell Canouse was acquired last summer he started to see the minutes Jeffrey was occupying, and over the 2017-18 offseason, the team acquired Junior Moreno to go with Canouse and Jeffrey, and Durkin was returning to the fold. While Canouse was returning from injury and not appearing until the summer, Moreno was acclimating to MLS, Durkin was given the time to broaden his skillset, both ahead of the 28-year-old Jeffrey. As Moreno learned the style of play and Canouse got healthy, the proverbial writing had to be on the wall.

So where does Jeffrey stand in 2019, without a contract? Well as a second-tier central midfielder, at least with FC Cincinnati coming online, the collective talent pool gives Jeffrey an outside chance at increased minutes for an MLS side. Perhaps given his loyalty to the organization, a chance at a veteran position with the newly formed Loudoun United in the USL is Jeffrey’s next step. Maybe Jeffrey takes a scouting and/or coaching position in either D.C.’s organization (Ben Olsen has allowed Josh Wolff, Pat Onstad and Davy Arnaud chances on the bench next to him during his tenure) or elsewhere.

Ironically, the reasons why Jeffrey was pushed down the depth chart are the reasons why he could see a bump-up in time for 2019; the Copa America will surely see Moreno get time with Venezuela, then there are the national team chances for Canouse and Durkin; the former could see a call-up for the 2019 Gold Cup for the United States senior roster, and the latter could very well be in the fold for the US for the U20 World Cup, which runs from May 23 to June 15 (the Copa America/Gold Cup start the day before/day of the end of the U20 tournament). Given the national teams are likely to see some training camp period during that time, all of a sudden central midfield gets a little barren in the early summer.

It’s complicated. Who’s to say? Not me, y’all do:


Do you want Jared Jeffrey back for the 2019 season?

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