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D.C. United acquires Ravel Morrison from Derby County

D.C.’s latest signing moves with new coach Wayne Rooney

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Derby County v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

D.C. United added another long-rumored signing on Thursday, adding Jamaica international midfielder Ravel Morrison on a free transfer, with his last club being Derby County, where he played under current D.C. coach Wayne Rooney. First reported by Pablo Maurer, then Thomas Floyd reported the deal had been finalized a few days ago, the deal makes Morrison a TAM player on a contract through 2023, with an option for 2024.

“Wayne worked closely with Ravel during his time as manager of Derby County,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United President of Soccer Operations, said in a team release. “Ravel is an incredible talent and his ability to create and score goals is impressive. He has played at the highest levels during his career and his vision, creativity and ability on the ball will be a huge asset for us.”

Morrison began his career at Manchester United as a teammate of Rooney’s when he was 17, and has appeared with such sides as Mexico’s Atlas FC, Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Serie A side Lazio, only managing a handful of appearances at each club however, with occasional legal issues through his career.

It is under Rooney at Derby where Morrison experienced a small resurgence, appearing in 38 games over the 2021-22 season, scoring four goals. Born in England, Morrison has chosen to represent Jamaica in international play, appearing in 14 games and scoring two goals, recently once against Suriname in CONCACAF Nations League play in June.

“Ravel is a dynamic and exciting player who has experience performing at the elite levels in Europe and Mexico,” Lucy Rushton, D.C. United General Manager, added. “He is a top-class midfielder with excellent technical ability and positional versatility. His game intelligence and all-round attacking ability allow him to fit perfectly in the system and style that Wayne wants to play. We look forward to integrating him with the roster and having him contribute on the field as soon as possible.”

Morrison’s addition gives D.C. 11 international players, though he would presumably occupy the international spot of Brad Smith, out the remainder of the season to an ACL injury. Kimarni Smith and Gaoussou Samaké have frequently been loaned to Loudoun to accommodate the overages and may be doing so again as players get signed and train under Rooney’s system.

A helpful reminder the secondary transfer window remains open until August 4.