The writing was on the wall earlier today, when D.C. United traded
our unwanted lunch items a 2014 draft pick to Chivas USA to pick up Casey Townsend. Hours later, United announced that striker Long Tan has been released.
Tan arrived back in June of last year in exchange for a 2015 Supplemental Draft pick. The idea wasn't that United was bringing in a starter, or even a reliable sub, but rather a very raw player who might develop for the future. MLS's first-ever Chinese player went on to make 6 appearances, including 3 starts in August (against Columbus, at KC, and at Montreal). His only goal came in the not-as-close-as-the-score-indicated 4-2 win over the Chicago Fire on August 22nd. Tan's last appearance for United was as a 90th minute substitute in August 29th's 2-2 home draw with the New York Red Bulls.
Unfortunately for Tan, he's a 25 year old who is still developmentally at the "diamond in the rough" phase. At that point of your career, you're supposed to be further along than that. Townsend's arrival left United with some fairly unappetizing choices to offer Tan: Go play the whole season on loan with the Richmond Kickers, or go find a new club. In all honesty, it's probably best for both parties that Tan was simply given the freedom to move on.
Share your memories of the glorious career of Long Tan in the comments.