By far MLS’s lowest scoring side, D.C. United made their first move to fix what ails them today, signing Jamaican striker Deshorn Brown via the league’s allocation order. To get to the top of that ranking, United had to complete a trade with the Houston Dynamo, sending $100,000 in general allocation money, $75,000 in targeted allocation money, and an international roster spot for the 2018 season only to Texas in order to swap spots and select Brown.
Per D.C. United, Brown will wear the #17 shirt. The Washington Post’s Steve Goff first reported the move, with the Houston Chronicle’s Corey Roepken reporting details of the trade with the Dynamo. Brown was able to move outside of the international transfer window due to his International Transfer Certficate (ITC) already being held by an American club.
Brown, a 26 year old forward with 14 caps for Jamaica who has plenty of experience on the flanks, scored 20 goals in two MLS seasons with the Colorado Rapids. The runner-up for MLS’s Rookie of the Year award in 2013 was consistent, scoring 10 goals in both seasons, before Norwegian top flight side Valerenga acquired him via transfer fee in the first weeks of the 2015 season. Brown maintained his scoring form there, with 13 goals in 37 appearances, before a seven-figure transfer fee and lucrative salary took him to Shenzen FC of the Chinese second division.
Brown scored 7 goals in 14 appearances for Shenzen before leaving the club as a free agent this February. With transfer windows in Europe closed, and ambitions to return there still burning, Brown signed a deal with the USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies that was rumored to have an easy exit clause should the right club come knocking. In 14 USL appearances (8 starts) Brown had 3 goals and 1 assist.
Per Goff, United head coach Ben Olsen has said that Brown is eligible for tomorrow’s game against Atlanta United:
Based on past history, Brown will likely be immediate competition for starting minutes as United’s striker. Alhaji Kamara is reportedly on his way out, and Jose Ortiz has largely failed to convince in a role he seems ill-suited for. With Patrick Mullins on the mend from meniscus surgery, United started Lamar Neagle - more of a natural winger than a striker - up front on Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Toronto FC. Sebastien Le Toux has also had starts up front, but has struggled whenever United’s approach is anything other than playing purely on the counter-attack.
Brown is not just a stopgap until Mullins returns, however. For one, Mullins has been in poor form while healthy this season. More importantly, though, Brown’s ability to score goals and add electrifying speed from the wings will make him a stern competitor for Lloyd Sam and Patrick Nyarko, who while being United’s best wingers have mostly been short of the outstanding play both provided in 2016.