D.C. United has apparently made the first of what is hopefully several moves to boost the worst attack in MLS. Jamaican striker Deshorn Brown, according to reports from the Washington Post’s Steve Goff, is United’s first acquisition in what appears likely to be a busy summer. Brown, 26, has 14 caps for Jamaica and would join the Black-and-Red from the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Brown’s career path has been an interesting one. As a rookie in 2013, he was the leading scorer for the Colorado Rapids, and his 10 goals and 4 assist performance saw him come 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting. He managed another 10 goal season in 2014 despite consistently floating between a role as a striker and as a left winger. Early in the 2015 season, the Rapids opted to sell him on to Valerenga (the same Norwegian club that, once upon a time, purchased the rights to Troy Perkins).
In the Tippeligaen, Brown scored 13 goals in 37 appearances before being sold Shenzen FC of the Chinese second division for a reported $1.2 million. He scored 7 goals in 14 appearances there before leaving the club and becoming a free agent in late February. With the transfer market in Europe closed at the time, Brown signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a deal that was alleged to be either short-term or easy to get out of if a club in a more prestigious league came calling.
Brown would have seemed likely to torch the USL in the meantime, but that hasn’t exactly happened. He has 3 goals and 1 assist with the Rowdies in 796 minutes (14 appearances, 8 starts), which by itself would hardly catch the eye of an MLS club.
However, United would be making this move based on Brown’s overall track record. At 6’2” and blessed with serious speed and an ability to play both as a striker and as a winger, Brown would add a goal threat that United badly lacks. While he won’t create as many chances as Lloyd Sam, or beat people on the dribble as often as Patrick Nyarko, Brown would be a good option when United is seeking a goalscoring winger (i.e. when Patrick Mullins is fit again) and would likely be the most dangerous scorer available to the club if he were available to suit up before Mullins recovers from knee surgery.
That said, Brown most likely needs to be merely the first of a series of additions for United. While he would appear to fit a need for D.C., he is not a one-man silver bullet that fixes everything wrong with the current roster. He’s got the potential to be a very solid addition to the roster, and he would make the team younger and faster going forward. On its merits, this is a solid move, but surely United is only just beginning their quest to turn a bad roster into a good one.
In the meantime, enjoy this ridiculous goal he scored on Richmond earlier this year.