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D.C. United 2018 season review: Chris Odoi-Atsem

The curious case of Chris gets a look, and some good karma.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-D.C. United at New England Revolution Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Odoi-Atsem’s strange year with D.C. United started not in 2018, but in 2017, when his option was not renewed. There was curiosity as to why (heck, most everyone here wanted him to return), then Paul Tenorio tweeted that the team wanted to renegotiate the deal. Renegotiate a $65,000 base salary downward? OK, to $54,000 base, with club-held options for 2019 and 2020.

Odoi-Atsem was still grappling with strange, scary injuries too. He was dealing with compartment surgery issues again, to the point where it required surgery in May. But past a 12-minute appearance in April he wasn’t getting on the field, and he begun to start appearing on the injury report list with “Fatigue.” We all found out later that this was Stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with chemotherapy treatments running until February. If nothing else, get well soon Chris.

Of minor note, when D.C. announced their contract option list last month, Odoi-Atsem’s name was on it as being under contract for 2019, so it appears the team had already quietly picked up next year’s option which, good on them for doing so.

So let’s take Chris at his word, trust medical science to do what it can, and hope he can recover to playing shape. If chemotherapy runs a full course, he will begin to train just before the season opener. When he gets to the point of being game-ready, he would seem to fit the bill for some time at Loudoun United before being ready to contend for some first-team appearances just before his 24th birthday. I want him to come back, be nominated for MLS Comeback Player of the Year, only to lose to some fart-sniffing European player who is signed this winter, only to be loaned to Europe and return for his MLS debut in April.

Here’s hoping he comes back, but I’m just a man here:


Do you want Chris Odoi-Atsem back for the 2019 season?

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