On the eve of the 2018 MLS season, D.C. United has crafted a solution to their international roster spot dilemma, sending $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and a 2019 international roster spot to the Portland Timbers in exchange for a 2018 international roster spot. The trade allows United to register all seven of their current international players in time for the beginning of the season.
A much-needed roster makeover saw United go from having just four internationals to seven, with five players (Yamil Asad, Frederic Brillant, Junior Moreno, David Ousted, and Ulises Segura) joining the club this winter. That quintet is joined by holdovers Bruno Miranda and Zoltan Stieber to give United its most international-heavy roster in years. That left United in a spot where their options were to either leave someone off their roster (making them ineligible to play) or make a trade that can hardly be called efficient.
Bizarrely, this is the third exchange between United and Portland that involves an current international spot temporarily changing hands. The Timbers hold one of United’s spots through 2018 due to the deal that brought Darren Mattocks to the District. United gained one of Portland’s (again through 2018) as part of the package deal that saw D.C. academy product Eryk Williamson end up with PTFC.
At the end of 2018, United will see a flurry of international spots revert back to their original club. Two spots that the Black-and-Red are currently losing will return to Portland, and United will have to send a third to the Timbers to complete today’s trade. However, Portland will have to send the one they got for Mattocks back to D.C., while New York City FC and the Houston Dynamo also have United spots that will revert back when 2019 begins. As such, despite all the moving parts, United currently is in a position to have seven international spots in 2019...just like they do today.