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Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: That right side, with Andy Najar underlapping and Julian Gressel bombing up the flank, was unplayable last year.
  • Weakness: Just in terms of overall talent, this team’s going to be looking up at most of the groups they’re lining up against.

Key Departures

  • Paul Arriola: The Paul Arriola era in D.C. has come to an end, after 20 goals and 16 assists in 89 appearances. He was acquired from Club Tijuana and then traded to FC Dallas this offseason for a new league-record trade of $2 million GAM plus incentives. The DP winger didn’t quite have a seamless fit in Hernan Losada’s tactics, which hasn't deployed natural wingers.
  • Kevin Paredes: Off to the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg brought a $7.35 million bid to D.C. for Kevin Paredes and the homegrown wingback was transferred at the end of January. He is regarded by scouts as a huge prospect and there were plenty of teams in Europe hoping to sign him, including RB Salzburg and a “big six” Premier League side, per sources.

Key Acquisitions

  • Michael Estrada: Michael Estrada is among the key signings in a revamped attack, arriving from Liga MX’s Toluca on loan with a purchase option, reported to be $5 million by The Washington Post’s Steven Goff. The 25-year-old has 17 goals and six assists in 66 appearances for Toluca, while notching eight goals and five assists in 28 caps with the Ecuadorian national team. He’s a key part of World Cup qualifying for his country. He’ll be a center forward in Hernan Losada’s 3-4-2-1 formation.
  • Taxiarchis Fountas: On the “2” line of Losada’s 3-4-2-1 formation is Taxi Fountas, signed on a pre-contract agreement from Rapid Vienna. He’ll be a DP whenever he arrives with D.C. United, which will be no later than the summer, but could come a bit sooner, pending how the next few weeks unfold for Vienna. The 26-year-old has 45 goals and 21 assists in 90 appearances in Austria, as well as eight caps with Greece.
  • Brad Smith: With Kevin Paredes leaving, D.C. United acted quickly to add a left wingback by trading for Brad Smith from Seattle Sounders FC. Smith, an Australian international and product of Liverpool’s academy, made 63 appearances with Seattle from 2018-21, broken up into two stints.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Note: Fountas will join the XI once he arrives.

DC United - projected XI 2022

Predictions

  • Charles Boehm: 10th in East
  • Tom Bogert: 11th in East
  • Matt Doyle: 11th in East
  • David Gass: 11th in East
  • Sam Jones: 10th in East
  • Joe Lowery: 9th in East
  • Greg Seltzer: 10th in East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 12th in East