The inevitable chopping and changing within D.C. United's preseason camp has started a bit earlier than normal. Steve Goff of The Washington Post is reporting that Mamadou "Futty" Danso and Richard McCallum have left camp without receiving a contract, while 21 year old goalkeeper Travis Worra has been brought in for a trial:
D.C. United drops trialist Futty Danso, MLS veteran back. GK Travis Worra (U of New Hampshire) replaces Richard McCallum in camp #dcu— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 2, 2015
Danso is by far the biggest name of the trio, so we'll start with him. Mostly known for his time with the Portland Timbers - both the MLS version and the USL side - Danso was in camp trying to get on the roster as United's fourth (or fifth, given Markus Halsti's versatility) center back. The Gambian veteran has 63 career MLS appearances since first appearing in the league in 2011, though it's worth noting that almost 40% of those appearances came in PTFC's debut top-flight season. Midway through last year, Danso was shipped to Montreal, where he struggled to break through on an Impact team that was already in deep trouble upon his arrival.
In United's first preseason match of the season, Danso had to come off with what appeared to be a non-contact injury in the 73rd minute. It could be speculated that the injury is why Danso is being released from camp, but it's more likely that the presence of Sean St. Ledger - whose resume is much stronger than Danso's - and younger option Rauwshan McKenzie left Danso with little hope of making the team.
The 30 year old McCallum looked solid enough when facing United in CONCACAF Champions League play, but like Danso was at a disadvantage when compared to the other trialists at his position. Diego Restrepo would not take up an international roster spot were he to sign, while Riccardo Anedda at 23 still has most of his career ahead of him. McCallum is a solid keeper, though, and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see some MLS club that paid attention to the CCL give him a trial elsewhere.
McCallum's exit does not mean that United is narrowing the pool of keepers in camp, however. Having spent four years as a starter with the University of New Hampshire, Worra will join the race to be United's third GK. At 6'3" and 175 lbs, Worra likely fits the mold of someone like Joe Willis: An under-the-radar GK that United knew they could potentially sign without having to use a draft pick. UNH is not a well-known soccer school, but good MLS teams leave no stones unturned.
An interesting tidbit concerning Worra is that he went to Hempfield High School in Pennsylvania, the site of one of United's more frustrating performances in the Tom Soehn era (obviously quite a feat).
Here's the obligatory highlight reel for Worra: