D.C. United has released Sheanon Williams, John Requejo Jr., and draft picks Afonso Pinheiro and Rafael Andrade Santos from preseason camp. With the team back in D.C. for the next few days, the first round of cuts included the former Vancouver Whitecaps and Philadelphia Union defender Williams, as well as Requejo, a former Club Tijuana left back.
The chances of Pinheiro and Santos making the squad were long to begin with. Both players were taken in the 4th round of last month’s MLS SuperDraft, and players in that position rarely ever make a roster these days.
Williams was the most notable cut of the group, with significant MLS experience dovetailing with United needing to add to their depth at fullback. Given the recent acquisition of Oniel Fisher, who like Williams takes up a senior roster spot for a considerably lower price point, the writing may have been on the wall for the 27 year old once United traded for the Jamaica international.
This also significantly boosts the chances that Chris Odoi-Atsem will be part of the 2018 squad. The 2017 SuperDraft pick and 2018 non-roster invitee’s known skillset, his familiarity with the returning corps, and his likely supplemental (ie, non-budget) roster status, should make for another young face on the squad. Rob Vincent remains in camp as well, though with United’s long list of midfield acquisitions, his chances of securing a spot on the roster appear remote.
United returns to Florida tomorrow for camp to restart Wednesday, where they will play the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, followed by a midweek game with the Jacksonville Armada next Wednesday. A trip west for a game against USL expansion side Las Vegas Lights FC on February 24 rounds out the preseason schedule. The Black-and-Red currently have 22 players on the roster, with Yamil Asad expected to be announced shortly (the 23 year old is currently in D.C. with the club).