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Former Philadelphia Union, Orlando City midfielder Amobi Okugo training with D.C. United

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The former USA under-23 defensive midfielder was a participant at today's open practice at RFK Stadium.

Steven Streff

At D.C. United's open practice Wednesday morning, our own Steven Streff noticed a new face participating in the training session. That'd be Amobi Okugo, waived last month by Sporting Kansas City after making just 3 appearances in 2015. Okugo spent the first five seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Union before being traded to Orlando City for allocation money, appearing in 15 games in 2015 before being traded to KC. Combined with Ben Olsen's remarks about Halsti's fitness yesterday, Okugo - himself a defensive midfielder - could be seen as a further shot across the bow of the Finland international.

Or, it could be United simply doing the dude a favor. Through a spokesperson, United confirmed that Okugo is training with the club but emphasized that this is not a trial.

Further examination makes it hard to see how this could become more than a training stint (at least, in the coming days). The signing of Andrea Mancini (son of Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini) is not official but is imminent, and it would take up D.C.'s final open roster spot. That would leave United having to open up a roster spot. Releasing someone seems like the most obvious option, but the Black-and-Red could also put Bill Hamid or Chris Korb on the injured reserve. That won't fix the problem forever - players on the non-season ending IR need a roster spot when they come back, after all - but it would extend United's time to make a decision

In other words, this is an interesting development for a team that arguably needs another MLS-ready defensive midfielder, but it might not be anything more than that.