DC United trade Eryk Williamson's Homegrown rights to Portland Timbers

Eryk Williamson - US Youth National Team - close up


US U-20 national team midfielder Eryk Williamson is one of the top prospects to come out of D.C. United’s academy in recent years, but he’s turning pro with the Portland Timbers

D.C. traded Williamson's Homegrown Player rights to Portland on Tuesday, receiving $100,000 in 2018 General Allocation Money, $100,000 in 2019 Targeted Allocation Money, a second-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft and a 2018 International roster slot.

Should Williamson transfer out of MLS in the coming years, the Black-and-Red will also receive 50 percent of any future transfer fee as well as a 2020 second-round SuperDraft pick.

“Eryk is a dynamic young midfielder that has shown his abilities at the youth levels in this country, and his talents were on display this summer with the United States at the U-20 FIFA World Cup,” said Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese in a club release.

“We believe Eryk is capable of further growth and development, and has the potential to become a quality player at the next level. He is a forward-thinking player and approaches the game with an aggressive mindset, which are traits that we believe will fit well within our group moving forward.”

On Monday evening the Washington Post’s Steve Goff reported that United were unable to agree contract terms with Williamson and confirmed as much with general manager Dave Kasper. That impasse led to inquiries from other MLS clubs, with the Timbers eventually winning the race to acquire the player's rights.

Williamson, 20, is a junior midfielder at the University of Maryland who played a significant role on Tab Ramos’ US U-20 side during both CONCACAF qualifying and FIFA U-20 World Cup action last year, scoring a goal and two assists in 12 games (10 starts) across all competitions. He netted 14 goals and 13 assists over three years with the Terrapins before foregoing his senior season to turn pro.

United currently have three Homegrowns on their roster (Chris Durkin, Ian Harkes and Jalen Robinson) but Goff writes that “with a heavy away schedule before [their new stadium] Audi Field opens in July, the club is planning to rely on experienced players,” potentially limiting Williamson’s first-team minutes.

Trading Homegrown rights is a relatively rare phenomenon in MLS, but earlier this month the Chicago Firedid so with Cam Lindley, sending his rights to Orlando City in exchange for Rafa Ramos and a package of Targeted Allocation Money after Lindley and the Fire were unable to reach agreement on a contract deal.