D.C. United’s logjam in goal is over, as the Chicago Fire announced today that they’ve acquired goalkeeper David Ousted off waivers. Ousted, 33, started exactly half of United’s games last year after 4.5 seasons as the starter for the Vancouver Whitecaps, but failed to show himself as a difference-maker in goal. The summer addition of Bill Hamid on loan left Ousted as a clear back-up, and between his price tag and his own preference for a real shot at a starting role at this stage in his career, the writing was on the wall.
Ousted’s departure has been more or less assumed throughout the offseason, with United first adding Earl Edwards Jr. from Orlando City and then acquiring Chris Seitz in a draft-day trade with the Houston Dynamo. The details on his departure were what held things up, as United had to sort through options like buying out his salary ($369,166.71), which a) comes straight from ownership’s pockets and b) is only allowed once per season in MLS.
Ousted could have also returned to Europe, but ultimately United waived him and the Fire claimed the Danish veteran that way. The teams did not disclose details, but in all likelihood this means United will pay some portion of Ousted’s contract (which is guaranteed in 2019) while the Fire carry the rest.
The move opens up an international roster spot for United, which seems likely to go to Leonardo Jara, whose rumored deal to join D.C. on loan from Boca Juniors appears close to completion. Jara has already posted a photo of himself holding up a United shirt on Instagram:
Should Jara sign, United would go back to having all seven of their international spots taken up. Meanwhile, Ousted’s departure also leaves the Black-and-Red with seven open senior (a.k.a. “on-budget”) roster spots, a sign that more signings are coming soon.