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D.C. United and young designated player Rafael mutually split

It was a bit of a Kardashian wedding (even if it did last longer), ending with a midseason amicable divorce between the MLS club and the 21-year-old Brazilian striker.


The Rafael experiment is over. Rafael Teixeira de Souza, the guy who was hyped as a "major announcement" and "our guy" before the season began, has left the building. D.C. United announced this morning that they and the Brazilian forward had agreed to split ways. From their press release:

D.C. United and forward Rafael today announced that the two have mutually agreed to terminate his contract. The Brazilian international appeared in seven matches (four starts) this season, logging 331 minutes and notching one goal.

"We would like to thank Rafael for his time at D.C. United, and we wish him all the best in the future," said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper.

Rafael was signed on loan from Brazilian Serie A side Bahia as a Young Designated Player on Jan. 9, 2013. The midfielder has previously represented Brazil at the 2011 Pan-American games, and made his debut for D.C. United in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on March 23.

Rafa, like Raphael Augusto, his countryman midfielder who left the team earlier this month, showed glimpses of quality in his time at RFK Stadium, but he couldn't get onto the field enough. And when he did find the pitch, outside of one play, he failed to make a difference.

The move frees up another international roster slot for the club to use in new acquisitions once the summer transfer window open in 12 days' time. Think we'll see a new crop of designated players make their way to D.C.?

UPDATE: Be sure to check out the Q&A with GM Dave Kasper over at the team's official site. Mostly vanilla, but there are a couple of good nuggets, including the fact that a substantial loan payment was going to be due soon for Rafa, which explains the timing of this move.