Following a furious day of moves ahead of the close of the MLS transfer window, D.C. United has acquired LA Galaxy winger Emmanuel Boateng in a trade. United has sent $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to LA — who they face on Sunday at Audi Field — in exchange for the 26-year-old Ghanaian.
United’s pursuit of this move was reported yesterday by The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer, who also reported that the deal was done before the teams announced it.
Among the players on #DCU's radar - the club is actively in negotiations with the #LAGalaxy to try and acquire midfielder Ema Boateng, multiple sources confirm to @PaulTenorio and I. More on that as it develops.— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) August 6, 2019
Boateng joined the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana as a child, and eventually ended up coming to the United States to attend high school. Boateng then went to UC-Santa Barbara for a year of college soccer, and played for the PDL’s Ventura County Fusion during the NCAA offseason. From there, he was invited on trial to Helsingborgs IF in Sweden, eventually winning a contract.
After three seasons in the Allsvenskan, Boateng signed with the Galaxy in 2016. Since his arrival, he’s been a regular for the Galaxy, though perhaps not a full-time starter. In 108 career games (65 starts), he has 9 goals and 13 assists. Under Guillermo Barros Schelotto in 2019, his appearances have tended to be late cameos, with a total of 879 minutes spread across 21 games (7 starts).
For United, Boateng adds the kind of high-end speed that has largely been lacking for the Black-and-Red’s attack. While players like Paul Arriola and soon-to-be-announced striker Ola Kamara have some pace, Boateng is among the fastest players in MLS. He may not be a regular starter, but he can function as a game-changing option off the bench for a club that has too often this season had to resort to like-for-like substitutions.
There is a chance he will be in uniform for United as early as Sunday night, where he could be in line to face his old club right away. As reported by Emily Olsen of Pro Soccer USA, he has already joined United for his first training session with the club: