In typical Washington, D.C. newsdump fashion, D.C. United announced late this afternoon that they have mutually agreed with Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto to terminate the player's on-loan contract with the club and split ways. Augusto had appeared in seven matches this season, five of them starts, but failed to record a goal or an assist in nearly 400 minutes of action. (Then again, nobody on the team has done much of anything, either.) His lack of production contrasts somewhat with the former Brazilian youth international's first ever appearance in Black-and-Red, as an injury-forced substitute in the first leg of last year's Eastern Conference Finals, where he was denied a red card late in the first half, changing the course of the tie. Before you ask, of course I'm still bitter.
Augusto is undeniably a very skilled player, but he must appear somewhat enigmatic to coaches who employ a less Brazilian style than Augusto's parent club, Fluminese, where he will presumably return. He doesn't have the bite to play deep in midfield on most MLS teams, but he doesn't look to get forward into the attack as a driving box-to-box type, either. Augusto is, for all intents and purposes, a regista - a deep-lying playmaker - which in the right system could be something really interesting (not unlike David Beckham's latter-day deployment with the LA Galaxy), but which clearly didn't mesh with Ben Olsen's setup at RFK. Perry Kitchen's spot in the center of midfield was never in doubt, and with John Thorrington and Nick DeLeon both ahead of Augusto on the depth chart for the second central midfield position, the writing was on the wall.
The move frees up an international roster slot for United, which makes me think a new player coming in is imminent. Whether it will be before or after the July 8 opening of the international transfer window is another issue - United could acquire a foreign player through trade within the league at any time, but a player coming from outside MLS would have to wait until after the opening of the window.
So what do you make of all this? Let us know in the comments your thoughts on Augusto's time in DC and what kind of player you think the team should bring in to use the newly freed-up international slot.