The MLS Re-Entry Draft’s stage one came and went for D.C. United, who opted to pass with the second pick. This matches years past, where stage two — where teams can negotiate new deals with players rather than accepting their existing contract options — is far busier. In the end, the only players selected were Mike Grella (Colorado Rapid) and Tyrone Mears (Minnesota United).
Per the Washington Post’s Steve Goff, Grella has already been traded to an unknown Eastern Conference team:
Hearing the Rapids will now trade Grella to an Eastern Conference team for a draft pick— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) December 15, 2017
Due to the fact that United picked ahead of the Rapids (thus opting to pass while Grella was available), it would be beyond strange for them to turn around and be Colorado’s trading partner on that particular deal.
There had been at least some chance that United would select someone today. After avoiding last place on goal difference, the Black-and-Red cut their roster down to the bone, and even after two recent trades there are just 18 players currently on the team. However, there is also a solid argument to be made for avoiding contract options that other teams around MLS found to be avoidable.
As they’ll maintain the second pick for stage two, the absolute worst case scenario for United was that Grella and Mears were on their list, and that the LA Galaxy will take a third player from said list with the top pick in stage two (which will take place next Thursday, December 21 at 2:00pm). However, that seems highly unlikely, as at the very least selecting an aging right back who likely wouldn’t have been a starter (Mears) wouldn’t make any sense.
Of course, there’s also no guarantee that United has any plans on making use of the RED this year. We’ll just have to wait a few days to find out.