Following Monday’s news that D.C. United had been courting Universidad de Chile (and Bolivia National Team) youngster Bruno Miranda, word came yesterday from Miranda that he has undergone a physical and even toured RFK, and is awaiting the opening of the MLS transfer window to appear in D.C. Additionally, Chilean organization La Tercera reports the deal is done.
So, let’s assume given all of this smoke, combined with Ben Olsen’s comments to Steven Streff about the team adding attacking players is true, the question becomes what to learn about a 19-year old kid with three first team appearances?
The internet of course.
Over the course of the last couple of days, I’ve tried to watch some of Miranda’s games with Bolivia, which you can find on YouTube. I’ve watched his U-20 games against Peru (where he scored the brace in a 2-0 win) and Argentina (a 5-1 loss) from January’s Copa Sudamericano. I’ve also watched his game against the United States in a Copa America Centenario warm up in 2016 where he played the second half, and watched him play a friendly against Nicaragua in June. A note before whatever impressions I have: Bolivian soccer is kind of dour to watch, or at least it’s as watchable as the 73rd ranked team in FIFA can be. So with that in mind I’ll try and go micro to macro on Miranda and DCU:
- Miranda is listed as a forward but plays primarily left and right midfield in a 4-4-2/occasional 4-2-3-1. Onboarding tactically shouldn’t be long, particularly if the expectations are high, which absolutely remain to be seen.
- His linkup play with teammates isn’t bad, but he’s raw. He’ll open up paths for Luciano Acosta and Deshorn Brown, assuming the latter sticks around past 2017.
- In close his passing isn’t bad, further out is TBD. Part of this is game states, so in what few things I’ve seen he’s worked well in close but done more of that.
- Quietly this does present a position of need for DCU. With Lloyd Sam, Sebastien Le Toux and (presumably) Patrick Nyarko and Chris Rolfe all in the last year of their contracts. help is needed. Rolfe is gone, and Le Toux signing a one-year deal would presumably mean the same (not appearing in the 18 the last two games may also be a consideration). Sam was negotiating a new deal at one point, it remains to be seen what Nyarko’s plans are, though he would qualify for MLS’ 28/8 free agency criteria. Onboarding Miranda to get him acclimated to a full year of 2018 would make sense
- Miranda may not be coming into this blind. Miranda’s former teammate at the U was Lucas Ontivero, late of the Montreal Impact, and dinner pal of Acosta. When Miranda got word he would need to find minutes elsewhere, maybe a call was made?
- This presumably isn’t all. Team officials say that they are looking at a few players, that moves (plural) are coming, saying this after the loss to FC Dallas Tuesday in Olsen’s works. Miranda coming on doesn’t automatically mean Jose Ortiz is out the door in part because of positional depth, but were he to go during this window, then another move for an international player would presumably be in the cards at least.
With the window opening Monday, we’ll start to see what moves are made, what the expectations of Miranda could be and what kind of intentions there are for the Black-and-Red.