DC Notebook: Najar gone, but more signings on the way

D.C. United preseason

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D.C. United

With roughly five weeks remaining before the start of the MLS season, D.C. United have already made a number of moves to bolster their depth in key areas, and general manager Dave Kasper said more are coming.

“We’ve added a couple of players to our roster and there will be a couple more signings before opening day,” Kasper said.

One important piece has already moved in the opposite direction as 19-year-old Homegrown player Andy Najar officially moved to Belgium’s Anderlecht on a transfer. 

Acquisitions in midfield

Right behind strengthening their depth at forward, one of United’s main offseason goals was to shore up the midfield. The signings of veteran John Thorrington and 20-year-old Indonesian Syamsir Alam (on loan from Belgium side CS Visé) should help.

“John’s going to play an important role for us this year on and off the field,” Kasper said. “He’s a seasoned veteran. He knows what it takes to show up every day and work hard to achieve success. With that type of quality of work, we hope it rubs off on our younger players. We’re really excited to be adding a player with everything he brings to the table.

“[Alam] is an interesting prospect we identified in Belgium. He’s a player we don’t want to put a lot of expectations on. We want to have him come here and get him training with our group and go from there.” 

Kasper on USL PRO partnership

In conjunction with the league-wide partnership announcement, United have named the Richmond Kickers of the USL Pro league as their affiliate for the coming season. United will send a minimum of four first-team players on long-term loans to Richmond in 2013.

“It’s a great partnership between the leagues,” Kasper said. “We’ve had a very good relationship with Richmond in the past. It’s really an opportunity for our players to go and get meaningful games, to play in front of a crowd and develop. That’s what this is about. For Richmond, it’s a chance to get some MLS players to help them fill the roster. It’s really a win-win for everyone."