D.C. United made the long-rumored official, signing midfielder Ted Ku-DiPietro to a MLS homegrown contract. First reported by Steven Goff, the move makes Ku-DiPietro the sixth player Ryan Martin has coached at the Academy and USL levels who has gone on to sign a homegrown deal with the Black-and-Red, joining Jeremy Garay, Jacob Greene, Griffin Yow, Moses Nyeman, and Kevin Paredes.
“We’ve been impressed with Ted over the last two seasons in the USL Championship,” Lucy Rushton, D.C. United General Manager, said. “He has made great strides as a player since joining Loudoun United and we’re excited to see him continue to develop with our first team. He has the unique ability to break lines with the ball at his feet and covers a lot of ground in the midfield. Ted is another example of how the D.C. United Academy produces and develops quality players for our first team, and we wish Ted the best of luck as he makes the adjustment to MLS.”
Unlike the previous quintet, Ku-DiPietro signed a professional contract with Loudoun in 2020, after making his professional debut in a June 2019 win over Atlanta United 2 and scoring his first professional goal in a September 2019 win over Swope Park Rangers/Sporting Kansas City II. Finishing the year with a goal and assist in nine games (four starts), Ku-DiPietro also appeared in nine and started four in 2020, with his only goal in a win over the New York Red Bulls II.
2021 was a breakout year for Ku-DiPietro, who turns 20 next month, and led the team in several categories, including games played (30), minutes played (2,467), as well as goals (7), assists (3) and chances created (45). Mostly playing a variety of positions in midfield with some time at forward, Ku-DiPietro’s 2021 season was among the leaders within some analytics categories as well.
“Ted has grown and developed as a player during his time with Loudoun United,” Stewart Mairs, Loudoun United FC General Manager, said. “Ted signing with D.C. United is a testament to the success of our Pathway 2 Pro program between the two clubs. He gained valuable professional minutes over the last two years and we’re looking forward to his continued maturation as a player as he makes the jump up to the D.C. United first team.”
The signing makes Ku-DiPietro the 23rd player to D.C.’s roster and the ninth homegrown, in addition to two additional players (Drew Skundrich and Gaoussou Samake), who have made the jump from Loudoun’s roster to D.C.’s.