DC Notebook: Rafael pickup puts Salihi's status in limbo
D.C. United accomplished their primary offseason goal on Wednesday in acquiring 20-year-old Brazilian striker Rafael.
Now, however, they have to decide what to do with Albanian forward Hamdi Salihi. And with this week’s latest acquisition, Salihi’s position is even more tenuous than it’s been in the past.
“We’re in contact with Salihi and his representatives about his future,” GM Dave Kasper told reporters on Wednesday in a conference call. “Those discussions are ongoing and we’ll announce news accordingly.”
Salihi scored six goals in 10 starts and 22 regular-season appearances in 2012.
United are also currently are in the process of working out Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto’s visa so that he can return to D.C. on loan from Fluminense.
“We’ve been sorting out his Visa and working out some last-minute details on his deal and we’ll get him here as soon as possible,” Kasper said.
Olsen on new era at TFC
Add another young, former D.C. player to the MLS coaching ranks. Former United defender Ryan Nelsen last week was named Toronto FC’s newest manager by Kevin Payne, who left United late last year. Nelsen will become the 10th former United player or assistant to become a head coach in MLS.
“I think he’ll do fine,” said Olsen, who played with Nelsen at D.C. from 2001-04. “Obviously there will be some bumps in the road no different than the bumps in the road that I hit as a guy who was green to the coaching world. Once the process of him learning to be a coach happens, things will move quickly with him because of the quality that he has as a person.
"I’m excited for Ryan. I’m excited in a lot of ways for TFC because I think they have a good guy.”
While starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid is off training with the US national team, both of United’s backup goalkeepers – Joe Willis and Andrew Dykstra – are in England for short training stints. Willis is on a 10-day training stint with Sunderland while Dykstra is training with Hartlepool.
Meanwhile, right back Andy Najar played the full 90 in RSC Anderlecht’s friendly against Dutch side SC Heracles Almelo on Friday. Najar is on loan to Anderlecht until the end of January.