Wednesday saw the long-rumored trade of Paul Arriola to FC Dallas come to fruition, and we expect an announcement soon that homegrown player Kevin Paredes has been transferred to Wolfsburg for a club-record fee. To get ready for this season, D.C. United has to make their own moves, and Steve Goff has given D.C. United fans a peek as to whom the team is targeting in Paredes’ spot:
D.C. United has identified replacement for Kevin Paredes at left wing back: Seattle Sounders' Brad Smith. Trade talks very serious. Sounders to receive MLS Bucks™️. #dcu— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 27, 2022
Brad Smith, who turns 28 in April, will likely get a chance at playing time after a logjam at left back in Seattle. Acquired on loan from AFC Bournemouth in mid-2018, Smith appeared in 35 games (32 starts), including the 2019 MLS Cup Final, and registered eight assists before returning to England after a year and a half. He joined Cardiff City for the last half of the 2019-20 season before then returning to the Sounders, appearing in 27 games (20 starts) in 2021, and scoring three goals and four assists.
Smith’s contract, signed in 2020, reportedly ends after this season, and he made $525,000 in base salary ($566,250 in guaranteed compensation) in 2021. Given that, he could potentially cross the maximum budget charge of $612,500, but it remains to be seen if Seattle will keep any of his cap hit on their roster or if United will come to new terms. Speculation from Seattle’s end is the roster flexibility with Smith’s departure is worth more than potential allocation money, which they expect to be minimal.
Smith’s arrival, along with the expected moves for Taxiarchis Fountas and possibly Michael Estrada and a new deal for goalkeeper Jon Kempin (in camp but not yet signed), would bring the team up to 27 players under contract.