Transfer Tracker

DC United sign Lewis O'Brien on loan from Nottingham Forest

TRANSFER_Lewis O'Brien


D.C. United have acquired midfielder Lewis O’Brien on a short-term loan from English Premier League side Nottingham Forest, the club announced Monday. The 24-year-old’s deal extends only through July 16 and contains a purchase option.

O’Brien is expected to compete for a starting role in D.C.’s midfield alongside Polish international Mateusz Klich and domestic mainstays Chris Durkin and Russell Canouse.

O’Brien is D.C.’s third EPL addition in the last half-year after striker Christian Benteke arrived last summer from Crystal Palace and Klich joined this winter from Leeds United – all part of the squad rebuild that’s unfolded under manager Wayne Rooney.

"Lewis has been one of the best players in the Championship over the last few seasons," Rooney said in a release. "He reads the game well and creates goal-scoring opportunities. Bringing him in on loan from Nottingham Forest was a great bit of business for us and he will be a brilliant addition to our midfield."

If it weren’t for administrative hold-ups during the January window, O’Brien would have gone on loan to English second-division side Blackburn Rovers. But he fell out of Nottingham Forest’s playing squad after that failed move, opening the door for a cross-Atlantic deal as the MLS Primary Transfer Window remains open through April 24.

As Nottingham Forest gained promotion for the 2022-23 EPL season, O’Brien joined from Huddersfield Town as part of the club’s squad makeover. He ultimately scored once in 13 league games, but hasn’t played since late January. Now, O’Brien has a chance for consistent first-team minutes to get his career back on track.

O’Brien was previously a standout in the EFL Championship (second tier), posting eight goals and 10 assists in 123 matches for Huddersfield Town. He also played in League One (third tier) for Bradford City.

D.C. United are in their first full year under Rooney’s guidance, chasing an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs berth for the first time since 2019.