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D.C. United season review 2018: Russell Canouse

The secret weapon of the second half of the season

MLS: Chicago Fire at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In 2017, D.C. United made three big moves to start preparing for their first season at Audi Field. They signed Paul Arriola, US men’s national team winger, and Zoltan Stieber to be the key offensive players alongside Luciano Acosta. But they also signed Russell Canouse, a former US U-20 midfielder who had gone to Germany to sign for Hoffenheim but who hadn’t gotten much playing time.

Last year, Canouse turned from an unknown into a central midfielder around which the team could build for years. But he suffered a knee injury in the preseason that lingered, keeping him out for the first half of the season. His return, which occurred at the same time as Wayne Rooney’s debut, was just as important for the turnaround this team had.

Canouse is an all-around midfielder: he can spray passes, he can break up play, and he has the positioning and soccer smarts to anticipate what the other team is going to do. His performance against Minnesota United in September is a perfect example of what he can do:

His partnership with Junior Moreno, once the team switched to the 4-2-3-1 from the 4-1-4-1, solidified the center of the midfield, with each of them complimenting the other well. They provided a solid base that protected the back line and also provided a springboard to launch attacks and to allow Arriola, Acosta, Yamil Asad, and Wayne Rooney to make their magic.

The ceiling for Canouse remains sky high, with many people both on this website and throughout MLS media calling for him to get a callup to the USMNT. With Gregg Berhalter’s first January camp coming up soon, hopefully we see Canouse get what he so richly deserves.

The answer is obvious, because as long as Canouse wants to be in DC he will be one of the most important players on the team, but this is how we do it:


Do you want Russell Canouse back for the 2019 season?

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