Back towards the end of the 2016 season, as D.C. United pushed their way into the playoffs thanks to a months long scoring outburst, Rob Vincent became an important part of the team. Initially cast as a wide midfielder after leading the USL in goalscoring with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Vincent had trouble earning much playing time. But then, a move to a more natural central midfield role saw Vincent start 9 of the last 10 games in the 2016 season.
To start the 2017 season, Vincent was back to a reserve role, coming off the bench for United’s first two games. Unfortunately for Vincent, that would make the end of his season on the field.
Vincent was initially out due to knee surgery at the end of March. A standard procedure, Vincent was due to miss just a month. However, after the surgery, Vincent developed a blood clot, which had to be carefully managed. Once Vincent finally returned to the practice field in the summer months, setbacks with his knee denied him any more playing time for the season.
All in all, a season to forget for Vincent. That was summed up nicely in this completely self-aware tweet that he sent while playing FIFA 18:
My Alex Hunter character on FIFA just tore his meniscus!! He should be back playing in around 4 weeks to 7 months then— Rob Vincent (@RV__17) October 6, 2017
It’s probably of little surprise to know that United did not exercise the option on Vincent’s contract at the end of the season. Hard to fault them - considering the struggles that Vincent went through on the field in 2017. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that his Black-and-Red career are over.
United could re-sign Vincent, or more likely, invite him to training camp in January and February to earn a roster spot. That of course presumes that Vincent is once again healthy enough, or chooses that option over trying to latch on elsewhere, be it in MLS or a different league.
What might not help Vincent stick with United is the fact that Jared Jeffrey is under contract for the 2018. There is bound to be plenty of competition at central midfield positions this offseason, a place where United struggled for most of 2017. Russell Canouse and Ian Harkes are presumed starters for next year, but expect some serious competition for those jobs.
Vincent, when healthy, could have been on the fringes of that battle. Instead, if does intend on rejoining the Black-and-Red for a third season, he’ll have to show that he has fully recovered from a knee injury that cost him a precious year.
Do you want Rob Vincent back for 2018?
This poll is closed