D.C. United is making some changes to their depth chart in goal, trading to acquire goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. from Orlando City. United sent their natural 2nd round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft (the 38th overall selection) to the Lions in the exchange, while Edwards withdrew from the MLS Re-Entry Draft to facilitate the trade. The move was first reported by the Washington Post’s Steve Goff.
Edwards, who turns 27 next month, has spent the last four seasons with Orlando after being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 SuperDraft. He largely spent time with Orlando City B and starting for Orlando’s first team in Open Cup matches, and in fact was in goal as the Lions knocked D.C. out of the cup in the round of 16 this year (saving a penalty kick from Yamil Asad in the process). In the end, Edwards made 6 appearances for Orlando (all in the last 2 seasons), making 16 saves while conceding 16 goals for a team that was simply incapable of defending well in 2017 or 2018.
Overall, though, Edwards was not been able to break through as a full-time starter in Orlando. He did post a career-high in starts this season, getting the nod in five straight games from July 14 to August 4. His first start helped OCSC break a nine-game losing streak, but with Orlando in the midst of arguably the worst run of form in MLS history, Edwards was replaced in the lineup by Joe Bendik for what turned out to be an astounding victory for United.
Edwards figures to be the chief back-up for Bill Hamid. United is reportedly looking to trade veteran David Ousted, whose big contract and international status are both troublesome for United. DCU has also apparently moved on from Travis Worra, who is out of contract. It stands to reason that United’s third option will either come via the college draft or someone culled from preseason trialists.