Chris Durkin’s permanent transfer from D.C. United to Belgian club Sint-Truidense VV has been officially confirmed by both clubs today. While neither team officially confirmed the transfer fee involved, the Washington Post’s Steve Goff has reported a figure of $1.1 million, while The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer first reported that United will retain 25% of any future transfer fee Sint-Truiden gets for the 20-year-old United States under-20 international.
In a team press release, United GM Dave Kasper said “We want to thank Chris for starting his career at D.C. United, and we wish him all the best with his goals and dreams of a career in Europe. He will always be a part of the D.C. United family as he was when he started playing in our Academy and drove I-95 daily for two hours each way to get to practice.”
Signed in 2016, Durkin made his United debut in the U.S. Open Cup that year, but spent much of that year and 2017 on loan with the Richmond Kickers. In 2018, he made his MLS league debut in the Black-and-Red’s season opener, and would go on to make 36 total appearances in MLS play before departing on loan.
A defensive midfielder who can also play center back, Durkin found his playing time limited in 2019 due to the presence of Russell Canouse and Junior Moreno. With Canouse injured mid-season, Durkin had a chance to re-establish himself as a regular, but a bad ankle sprain suffered in the very next game left United extremely short-handed in central midfield. A trade to bring Felipe Martins in effectively left Durkin with a very difficult path towards playing time, precipitating a loan move to the Belgian top flight with Sint-Truiden. There, after a brief adjustment period, Durkin broke into the regular lineup for STVV, making 13 appearances before the premature end of the Belgian season due to coronavirus.