In a move to bring more depth to the fullback position, D.C. United has acquired Chivas USA right back James Riley. According to Steve Goff, United will not give up a player in the trade, which means it is likely trading some of the allocation money that it received from the Andy Najar transfer or a draft pick of some sort.
We will update the post later in the day when we find out exactly what the team gave up. (Update: The team has traded a 2015 second round supplemental draft pick for Riley.) The first hints of this trade came earlier today when Riley tweeted that he was getting on a plane and heading to Washington, D.C. In a Twitter-savvy move, he has already changed his description to "Defender for DC United."
Riley started 30 of 32 games last year for the Goats and has also made stops with the Seattle Sounders, the San Jose Earthquakes, and the New England Revolution. His acquisition means that Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, and Riley are now competing for two spots on the field, with Robbie Russell a distant fourth and Taylor Kemp probably spending some time in Richmond. At this point, I would think that Woolard and Korb are still the starters, but Riley as a backup and spot starter makes me much more comfortable than only having Russell. This would seem to dim the chances of Jan Fredericksen getting a contract as D.C. United now have five true fullbacks and Lewis Neal able to play there in a pinch; Fredericksen's chances of signing were always complicated by the fact that he would need an international slot.
This trade is another in the long line of puzzling moves by Chivas USA this offseason, now that they are rededicated to the Latin player model held by Chivas de Guadalajara. One would think that they would want to evolve into that system and get actual value for the pieces that they are trading away. Regardless, D.C. United sees that there is value to be had in picking over Chivas' roster and are taking advantage.