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Yamil Asad signs pre-contract with D.C. United

The saga is finally over: Asad is coming back to DCU next year

A nearly year-long saga has finally ended, as Yamil Asad has signed a pre-contract with D.C. United that will see him officially join the club for the 2020 season. Financial details were not made available, though the Washington Post’s Steve Goff reports that Asad’s salary will be high enough that United will use Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). Per Goff’s reporting, Asad’s deal will be guaranteed, and will run through 2022.

In a team release, United General Manager Dave Kasper said “We are excited to finalize a deal to bring Yamil back to the District. He was an integral attacking piece for us during the 2018 season and we look forward to reintegrating him into the team in 2020. Yamil has high soccer IQ and is a great producer of goals and assists while bringing a winning mentality every time he steps on the field.”

Asad, 25, signs as a free agent after being given a mutual termination by Argentine club Velez Sarsfield. United had acquired him on loan from Velez in 2018, only after Atlanta United (who had originally brought him to MLS on loan in 2017) couldn’t find a way to fit him into a salary structure that already had 3 Designated Players. Asad took over the starting job for United on the left wing, scoring 9 goals — including the first-ever goal at Audi Field — and 8 assists.

The Black-and-Red reportedly brought Asad in on similar terms as the deal that Atlanta had secured with Velez, with a $700,000 purchase clause included in the loan, and also ran into a similar roadblock when it came time to make his deal permanent. Despite months of attempts to negotiate a deal that worked for Velez while allowing United to avoid classifying Asad as a DP, the clubs could never come to an agreement, and Asad was mostly left out in the cold at Velez.

Asad returned to the area two weeks ago, amid plans to possibly have him sign a short-term contract with Loudoun United in order to build his fitness after a year largely spent in limbo. He was welcomed back into the locker room by teammates after the 1-1 friendly draw with Club Puebla back on September 4. The idea of signing him to a USL deal with Loudoun has apparently been scrapped.

Securing Asad today will help D.C. prepare for an offseason that seems sure to feature some high-profile departures. Wayne Rooney’s exit to Derby County is already established, and Luciano Acosta’s contract expires at the end of the year. United also has to contend with what to do about Bill Hamid, Leonardo Jara, and Lucas Rodriguez, all of whom are on loans that expire this winter.