WASHINGTON – With each passing week, D.C. United’s roster for the 2014 season takes shape.
And last week, the direction of the club’s moves was clear: acquire veterans and defenders.
United first traded 2014 and 2015 international roster slots to the Montreal Impact to acquire 12-year MLS veteran, midfielder Davy Arnaud. Then D.C. selected Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft as the club was returning from its winter tour in Indonesia.
By injecting veteran experience into the backline and bringing Montreal’s former captain into the fold the hope is that those pieces will mesh well with United’s existing young talent.
“Unlucky bounces and whatnot went against them last year,” said Boswell, who rejoins United after spending the previous six years in Houston. “But sometimes, when things like that happen it causes significant change. And it looks like they’ve make a commitment to bringing in some new guys. We’re going to try to turn things around.”
Boswell, a strong and steady center back, said he’s both happy to be back in the nation’s capital – where he spent the first three years of his career – and happy to have spent such a short amount of time off contract.
“When I played there, the fans were amazing,” said Boswell, who was former teammates with his now head coach Ben Olsen. “And I actually like RFK. There are a lot of positives that are already there, so I’ve just got to go in and try to help contribute and correct the things that were causing losses.”
Like Boswell, Franklin is an experienced, veteran defender. He spent six years with the LA Galaxy and won MLS Rookie of the Year honors in 2008.
Meanwhile, Arnaud brings with him more than a decade of experience and has played 297 career regular season matches, not to mention 15 playoff games. While it’s unknown whether he’ll assume captaincy duties in D.C. given the departure of Dwayne De Rosario, he’s another player who deeply understands the workings of the league and one United hopes can help spark a dramatic turnaround.
“They’ve gone out and gotten guys that have proven year-in and year-out they can handle the pressures and physical duties of MLS,” Boswell said. “I’ve played with a lot of different players and there’s already a good group of guys that are in D.C. I think the guys who are coming in are just going to add to that.”