Update 5:51PM: It is now official.
On a day that will never log off, D.C. United has continued to make moves. Mere hours after the Wayne Rooney departure was made official, which we have yet to mentally process, now comes news that one of the league’s villains is coming to the District. Steve Goff broke the news that the team will trade some kind of allocation money to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the services of midfielder Felipe Martins.
D.C. United has just traded with Vancouver for veteran midfielder Felipe Martins. Financial stuff goes to the Whitecaps. Martins, 28, has appeared in 18 matches this season, 13 starts.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 6, 2019
Fans of the team will remember Felipe first from a 2014 game against the Montreal Impact, where mere seconds after kickoff he took out Fabian Espindola in the center circle and put him out for over 6 weeks.
He is also well-known for going to the ground easily, as most memorably reacted to by Joe Bendik:
The reaction from the fanbase when the news dropped was visceral. However, he has been a very good midfielder in this league for years now, with very good passing vision and being able to score at just the right time (often against D.C. United) for the Impact, the New York Red Bulls, and the Whitecaps. He scored a late goal just this weekend to lift the ‘Caps over FC Cincinnati.
The 28 year old has 1 goal in just over 1100 minutes this season, and has 24 goals and 48 assists over the course of his career, a testament to his passing and his ability to get into the right spot at the right time. When he signed with the Whitecaps, he had a contract through 2020 with an option for 2021.
In terms of what he does on the field, he is a good fit for Ben Olsen’s style of play, especially when the team is down three defensive midfielders for Sunday’s game, and Chris Durkin and Russell Canouse with both be out longer. After Sunday, it looks like a central midfield partnership of Felipe and Junior Moreno will occupy the middle for the next month or so as the other two heal and get back into shape. Felipe has been a villain to D.C. United fans in the past, but he will have ample opportunity to win us over, starting right as he comes in.
And that’s not even the end of the news up until this point, so stay tuned the rest of the day.