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D.C. United transfer news and rumors: Chris Pontius will be traded to the Philadelphia Union

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United's longest-tenured player is heading a couple of hours up 95, with some allocation money coming south in the exchange.

The first major move of the MLS offseason appears to involve D.C. United, as Goal.com is reporting that D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius was being traded to the Philadelphia Union for allocation money. The move could prove to be a bit of a coup for the Black-and-Red in terms of freeing up salary cap space

Pontius turns 29 next year and scored three goals and an assist in 23 games, but more importantly since signing a multiyear extension in 2012, has only played in half of United's games (51 of 102). Surgery on a hamstring tendon and nearly constant muscular injuries have badly hampered him since signing the deal. His last game could be considered a synopsis of his time over the last three years, scoring a crucial playoff goal against the New England Revolution just before halftime only to depart early in the second half with a hamstring problem.

United loses their longest tenured player, and possibly one of the faces of the franchise to date (second only to Bill Hamid, the club's obvious star attraction). Despite his injuries, Pontius has been very productive since being selected in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft:

While the emotional loss is notable, the financial side of the deal is worth mentioning. D.C. gets allocation money but, as Steve Goff recently noted, D.C. would presumably have had to exercise the option in Pontius' contract in order to trade him (a report that matches something we had heard). That means D.C. sheds a near-DP salary (Pontius was due $396,000 guaranteed in the September salary list), and they appear to be getting allocation money out of it to boot.

Say what you will about Dave Kasper, but this is a good deal regardless of where your heart lies.