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D.C. United transfer window free-for-all

Here’s the place to be for what might be a busy day for the Black-and-Red

We heard your requests, and stopped merely thinking “maybe we should have a place for discussing all the D.C. United rumors and moves that are coming today.” This is exactly that: a place to keep track of all the pertinent rumors involving United, and probably the rest of the league too, as the transfer window comes to a close.

Before we start, let’s pour one out for the rumors that couldn’t make it to today’s frenzy:

Gary Medel

Krisztian Nemeth

Nigel de Jong (uh, I guess participation in the pour-out over this one is optional)

Marcus Olsson (definitely didn’t forget this one, nope, no sir)

These rumors burned too brightly and left us too quickly. They will be remembered by us lowly internet nerds and joked about in wherever it is that fans tailgate in the future. Maybe tailgates will happen on a hover-lot? Probably a hover-lot. OK, definitely a hover-lot.

With the jokes out of the way, we’ll have rumors and transfers listed starting with the most recent developments. Here we go!

11:59pm: We are officially done!
On behalf of the whole staff, thanks everyone for following along with easily the most bonkers day in the recent memory of United, and in the history of this site. Enjoyed the comments whenever I could break away from working on pieces to read through, and also enjoyed seeing what seemed like happiness? In this fanbase, it’s a rare commodity in recent times.

Anyway, I need to stretch because I’ve been seated for so long. Looking forward to the brave new world United has entered as a team that actually isn’t broke. - JA

11:37pm: Arriola to DCU is official
With about half an hour left in the window, United got the final bit of paperwork faxed, notarized, stamped, or whatever else one must do to make transfers official. Paul Arriola is a D.C. United player. We don’t have 100% of the details (just the breakdown of the GAM and/or TAM being traded to LA to get his rights because of some questionable MLS rules allowing the Galaxy to demand a ransom), but the biggest move of United’s craziest transfer window is complete. - JA

11:23pm: #TTBomb has Nemeth going to New England

The Nemeth saga appears to be coming to a surprising end. To refresh your memory: Nemeth was linked with KC, DCU, the Revs, and the Crew early in the window, but was also said to be considering staying in the Qatari league to ensure unpaid wages would end up becoming paid wages.

With United clearly moving on to Stieber and, later, Arriola, most figured he’d go to KC, who had traded Dom Dwyer and have a massive amount of allocation money. Instead, at basically the last moment, he’s apparently going to New England. This is a Revs team that signed defender Claude Dielna and then did nothing. Our friends at The Bent Musket have been far from satisfied as a result.

Now, is Nemeth a player they need? They’ve got Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez for their flanks, and Juan Agudelo and Kei Kamara are battling for their starting striker role. Their depth (Teal Bunbury, Femi Hollinger-Janzen) isn’t bad either. However, just to signal to their fans, it was important to do something. Revs fans can knock the specifics, but they can’t complain about a lack of activity now. - JA

10:32pm: DC is done. We think.

Some good life advice. Now rest. For a month or so. - RK

9:48pm: Sounders not done?

If Ives’ tweet has any legitimacy:

Having just brought hometown kid (and former DCU player) Lamar Neagle home, one would assume this is a depth piece of little consequence for them, but maybe they’re still stunned that their pursuit of Paraguayan (and Dynamo Kyiv) winger Derlis Gonzalez went down in flames. - RK

9:44pm: Nemeth may still return, but not to Sporting Kansas City:

Via SKC beat writer Sam McDowell:

It remains to be seen where Krisztian Nemeth plays in all this, as the winger posted on Snapchat with a message he was going...somewhere? But with the Columbus Crew yielding a bunch of money for Ethan Finlay, hard to see what SKC could tempt them with to get the brief target of DCU interest. - RK

9:38pm: Arriola and Canouse may appear Saturday?

Well, this would be nice for the Real Salt Lake game:

Arriola appeared in Xolos game last week with Monterrey so he’s certainly fit, but doubt he goes 90 while learning his new teammates on the fly, less so with Canouse. - RK

9:14pm: Goff with news on Sebastien Le Toux:

He’d been pulled aside in training yesterday and the thought was he would be leaving too (a Western Conference team was said to be interested). But he came to DC to be closer to his wife and took a pay cut in the process, so he’ll get to see out his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

8:52pm: Late-breaking trade between Colorado and Orlando

This one’s a bit odd. Luis Gil was said to leave Queretaro in part to play for Jason Kreis in Orlando. Dillon Powers, in what turned out to be a big mistake, opted to not go to Europe despite having an Italian passport when he was out of contract and instead stayed with the Rapids, who have misused him frequently (as a #10 or even a couple of times on the wing).

They’re also similar positionally, but their playing styles are different. Powers has more vision as a passer and overall more technical ability. Gil, meanwhile, has quick feet and covers more ground. I’m not sure what the Rapids are up to pretty much ever, but Powers at least sort of fits how Orlando wants to play. - JA

8:02pm: Open practice at RFK tomorrow

Good idea, this. - RK

7:12pm: Russell Canouse to DCU is official
You all pretty much knew this was happening, but here’s your confirmation. Like his high school teammate Travis Worra, Canouse calls himself a fan since childhood and calls being a part of the final season at RFK “special” in this video the team posted:

Central PA is becoming a DCU stronghold! - JA

6:58pm: Whitecaps move Dean to Chicago

Remember the 2014 draft when we were discussing if Steve Birnbaum shouled be picked or not? Well, the other choice at that point, defender Christian Dean, is on his way to the Chicago Fire:

The Whitecaps get $50,000, an additional $50,000 in TAM if he starts 12 games next year (Dean has played in 12 total since being picked in the draft, dealing with injuries most of the time), and a cut of any transfer. The Fire add depth at central defense, hopefully he can right the ship that saw him so highly regarded. - RK

6:51pm: Loons go with a(nother) Tico?

Minnesota United FC appears to be addng a midfielder/forward from Herediano to their lineup. Hey, worked for us, right? - RK

6:36pm: Aaron Maund to Vancouver
Surprisingly cheap for the Whitecaps, who get a decent CB for a 2018 3rd round draft pick. I’m not entirely sure what Vancouver is thinking, given they have Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Andrew Jacobson (who has filled in there in the past), rookie Cole Seiler, and Canadian international David Edgar coming back next year, but cheap is cheap. - JA

6:06pm: Finlay to Minnesota is official
This one got a little tricky: Columbus gets $100,000 in 2017 TAM, $250,000 in 2018 TAM, and $75,000 in 2018 GAM for Finlay. Good business for the Crew, who are overstocked on the wings. No idea what Minnesota is doing, since speed and goals from out wide are near the bottom of their list of problems. - JA

5:48pm: If you forgot the Colorado Rapids exist, here’s a small reminder that they are real

Can’t imagine the Rapids are getting much interest in a not-quite-starter-grade fullback who takes up an international spot. Mekeil Williams is one of those players you have on your team and, while not actively minding his presence on the roster, you do wonder when you’ll upgrade. So look for this to either go nowhere or for someone to move a very minor piece to Colorado (think 2nd round pick at best). - JA

5:10pm: #Stibi says Hello, Goodbye in greater detail:

Again...#Stibi. - RK

4:57pm: More information on DCU’s moves today
Steve Goff has a few notes in here that are worth discussing. First, he says that DCU was ready to pay the reported $1 million or so fee for Zoltan Stieber, but something unknown changed the deal and they got him for free instead. Which, hey, congrats Erick!

Goff also says Canouse required a transfer fee - no details on that - from Hoffenheim (his time with Bochum last season was via loan). The fact that he’s not a Young DP like Paul Arriola will be (provided there are no hiccups there) and that there’s no TAM being mentioned in that deal points to it being a very low figure.

Also, as we’ve been talking this over, it’s important to remember that Stieber, Arriola, Miranda, and Canouse will almost certainly not be eligible to play against RSL this weekend. Sebastien Le Toux - heavily attached to trade rumors, but as of now still on the team - seems likely to replace the suspended Lloyd Sam on the right wing this weekend. There just isn’t anyone else, unless Patrick Nyarko recovers from his concussion. Life is strange, fam. - JA

4:40pm: #Stibi

Zoltan Stieber appears to have his own hashtag. Use #Stibi wisely, friends. - JA

4:33pm: LAFC confirms Carlos Vela is coming...well, we think they confirm it

LAFC has done some pretty dumb social media stuff, like just talking up random Premier League games or individual players not on their team, so there’s like a 1% chance this is some fun with graphic design rather than their way of announcing Vela’s arrival.

Assuming it’s not just some tomfoolery, LAFC adds Vela from Real Sociedad effective at the start of the winter transfer window. What this means is that between now and then, Vela is a Real Sociedad player (i.e. he’s not an LAFC player on loan there). Could get complicated if he gets hurt, but this might have been the only way to make the deal. - JA

4:26pm: Stieber’s sizzle reel has us possibly getting the vapors

United just posted this goal round-up fro Stieber’s time in Germany. Given the range of goals here, and the movement involved in a few of them, it’s a view into what he might be able to produce here. - JA

3:50pm: Both Arriola and Stieber will be here for at least two full seasons:

That is a good length contract on players under 30 that will hopefully allow United to keep them through their prime. -BB

3:25pm: Popular MLS agent (and agent for Paul Arriola) is back in town

Looks like things are getting done! -BB

3:17pm: As expected, the Neagle trade was in part about doing right by Neagle

This isn’t a major surprise. Lamar Neagle is from the Seattle area, and has deep roots with the Sounders as a club. With United adding three wingers in this window (as of now), the writing was on the wall. United might have been able to fight their way to a 3rd round pick by sending him elsewhere, but sometimes a club is better off long-term by maintaining a reputation of being good towards players. This falls in that category. - JA

2:43pm: FC Dallas have been quiet for most of the window, but they've made a deal on deadline day.

Gonzalez has 3 caps for Venezuela. - SS

2:38pm: One possible explanation of United’s payment to the Galaxy:

Herculez Gomez has some opinions about the practice of having to buy a player’s rights from another team as well:


2:34pm: On top of the money to Tijuana, it looks like United is sending money to the LA Galaxy for Arriola’s MLS rights:

Arriola left LA’s academy in 2012, so presumably the rules were different then; under the current rules, the Galaxy might get a part of the fee as a solidarity payment but wouldn’t have any claim on Arriola’s rights.

So that looks to be around $4M for Arriola before he even plays a game. -BB

2:29pm: More Arriola transfer fee info

$3.5 million blows away the fee sent to Boca Juniors for Lucho last winter. Oh, and Rafael Marquez is being rung up on drug kingpin charges, so in case you were bored with all this other stuff, you can go read about that too. - JA

2:17: Ethan Finlay looks like he is heading to Minnesota United, but the price is pretty steep:

Maybe sometime today we’ll be able to breathe? -BB

2:00pm: Yura Movsisyan staying put

Good luck managing that locker room Mike Petke! - JA

1:48pm: Goffbombs galore

So to recap, in the last 10 minutes or so, DCU is as close as possible to landing a club-record transfer, another promising young American is already here training (all but confirming the Canouse deal), and Stieber’s reported million-plus transfer fee was actually a free transfer.

That last one is really interesting, because on one hand, that’s a far better piece of business. The seven-figure fee for him was the big stumbling point, at least for me, over whether this was a good deal or just desperation. On the other hand, plenty of fans want to see a tangible example of spending (though that concern is probably ameliorated by the Arriola deal).

Personally, I’m not so worried about whether DCU is spending their TAM or if rich uncle Erick is footing the bill. Just as long as good players are coming in. - JA

1:43pm: Paul Arriola to D.C. United it’s lit!!!!!!
Steve Goff is reporting that USMNT wide man Paul Arriola is “on the brink” of moving to the Black-and-Red. Our own sources confirm what Goff is reporting here: biggest transfer fee in DCU history, and Arriola is flying in as we type.

Oh, and a bunch of other stuff happened just now, this is ridiculous. - JA

1:36pm: Nemeth is going somewhere

It's 2017, so monitoring Instagram for potential stories is a real thing. Krisztian Nemeth, who played for Sporting Kansas City in 2015, has been rumored to be heading back to MLS this transfer window. D.C. United were reportedly sizing up an offer, but SKC are also in the mix. Here, his picture seems to indicate that he might be headed somewhere on a plane today. - SS

1:22pm: Site was down for a few minutes
I sure didn’t panic and get very mad about this. Definitely handled it calmly and like an adult. - JA

1:04pm: Something’s up with Ethan Finlay

A longtime DCU fan target, Finlay has had a rough season production-wise, and the Columbus Crew’s addiction to signing wingers (in the last 6+ months, they’ve drafted Niko Hansen, traded for Kekuta Manneh, and spent $2.3 million to land Pedro Santos yesterday) points to him being on his way out.

United doesn’t really need Finlay after signing Stieber and Miranda, but he’s still someone folks have been carrying a torch for. Yesterday, the rumor was that he was heading to Minnesota, who probably don’t need wingers so much as defensive help for Francisco Calvo. You do you, Loons. - JA

12:03pm: Canouse is loose?

Russell Canouse, the US under-20 who made 20 appearances for VfL Bochum last season in the 2.Bundesliga, seems like a probable addition sometime today. As a reminder, United just needs to get the signing done before midnight tonight. They don’t need to announce anything today, so we may have multiple scenarios where a player is signed, but not announced.

Anyway, Canouse is a holding midfielder, which United needs. However, his profile with Bochum this season points more to roving ball-winner than someone who really takes charge of the game from deep, blocking off zone 14 while functioning as a fulcrum for possession. We’ll see how true that actually is, but based purely on those inferences, he might be more of a replacement for Marcelo Sarvas than the Plan C after the giant name defensive midfielders fell through. - JA

12:01pm: D.C. United signs Zoltan Stieber from Kaiserslautern
This is the one we’ve been waiting on. Stieber’s visa and International Transfer Certificate aren’t completely processed yet, so don’t expect him to step in against Real Salt Lake this weekend. There’s also the issue of fitness: Stieber, coming from Europe, is probably only somewhere in the middle of preseason, so it might be two or three weeks before he’s starting games.

Anyway, it’s a big move on paper, and hopefully a game-changer for the Black-and-Red’s attack. - JA