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DC United add Venezuelan forward Gelmin Rivas after recent offensive struggles

Gelmin Rivas signing contract DC United


D.C. United have signed Venezuelan forward Gelmin Rivas to a contract, the club announced on Monday. Rivas will occupy an international roster slot and join the club pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.

Rivas most recently played for MKE Ankaragücü in the Turkish Süper Liga, scoring once and adding an assist in seven appearances. He has four double-digit goal seasons in his past, most recently when scoring 19 times for Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia in the 2015-16 campaign. 

Gelmin joins a D.C. squad that has sputtered recently offensively with three goals in five matches, while seeing major weapons Paul Arriola (torn ACL) and Edison Flores (facial fractures) sidelined for an extended period.

“We are excited to welcome Gelmin to the District,” club GM and vice president of soccer operations Dave Kasper said in a statement. “Gelmin’s experience and goal scoring record in leagues across the world will add some important firepower and attacking depth to our roster. We’re looking forward to integrating him with the squad."

The forward has made three appearances for the Venezuelan National Team after making his debut as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Canada on May 30, 2010 in an International Friendly. His most recent appearance came in a 2-1 loss against Honduras on May 6, 2014. 

Rivas started his professional career with Deportivo Anzoátegui SC in the Venezuelan first division when he signed in 2009. His best extended run came after signing for another Venezuelan side, Deportivo Táchira, at the end of 2012. There, he scored 40 goals in 76 appearances, including two goals in seven appearances Copa Libertadores matches.