D.C. United announced today that they have acquired midfield/forward David Estrada from the Seattle Sounders in exchange for a third round pick in 2017. According to Steve Goff, the deal has been in the works for a number of weeks and is unrelated to the current rash of injuries. Estrada was born in Mexico but has lived in Southern California for most of his life, playing college soccer at UCLA. He was the 11th pick of the first round for the Sounders in the 2010 draft.
Estrada has been loaned to both the Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO and the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL this season, making only a single appearance in MLS (coincidentally against D.C. United). His best season came in 2012, when he got on a hot streak and scored five goals early in the season. Estrada provides needed depth on the wings, allowing the team to spell Chris Rolfe and to more easily move Rolfe to forward to spell other players; it also means that we will hopefully see a little less of Lewis Neal as a wing player.
UPDATE: Something I missed in my initial reading of the press release was that Christiano Francois has been released. Francois was struggling to get playing time even in Richmond, after having been selected in a waiver draft at the beginning of the season. Upgrading Francois into Estrada is a good move in my book
Our friends at Sounder at Heart did a profile on him at the beginning of the season; here is some of what they had to say:
Offense: Most of David's skills belong in the attack. He's a decent short to medium passer. He understands where to be and when. He puts shots on target and forces defenses to react. Decent dribbler, enough to beat some MLS talent with moves. Not a set-play threat except when picking up pieces after rebounds and ricochets.
Defense: Decent positional awareness, no matter what position that is. Not a great tackler, but offers enough body to slow down attacks and allow Seattle's defense to reset. Almost never goes to ground. Has filled in at right back in reserve situations.