Paul Arriola – DC United – scans upfield


Paul Arriola and D.C. United agreed to a new, long-term contract extension through the 2023 season with an option for the 2024 campaign, the club announced Monday. Arriola still occupies one of the club's three Designated Player slots.

Arriola, 25, hasn't played in 2020 after suffering a torn ACL in preseason. He's likely out for the season, though he hasn't ruled out a return, depending on rehab and the timing of the rest of the 2020 campaign, yet to be announced. The club and player were working on a contract extension since before his injury. 

“Paul has been an immense attacking player and fan favorite since he arrived at our club and we are thrilled to secure his long-term future,” United GM and VP of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper said in a statement. “We know Paul will be back stronger than ever and we look forward to his return at Audi Field.”

The US national team attacker joined United in the summer of 2017 from Club Tijuana. He has 14 goals and 12 assists during his time in MLS over 68 appearances. He also has five goals in 33 appearances for the national team. 

“To show belief in me after I tore my ACL, that loyalty goes a long way,"  Arriola told reporters on a video conference call. "I want to give everything I have for this club, for good people. I can’t thank them enough for putting the trust in me and I’m 100% certain I won’t let them down.”

Arriola was set to be a key part of a new-look United attack, alongside newcomers Edison Flores and Julian Gressel, while Yamil Asad also made his return to the squad. D.C. struggled at the MLS is Back Tournament, picking up two draws and a loss. They scored three goals but had an xG of just 2.25, third-worst among the 24 teams in Orlando.  

“I have a job to do at this club that’s not finished," Arriola said. "I showed up in 2017 and I wanted to be a guy that makes a difference on the field. Do I feel I’ve done that to a certain extent? Absolutely. But I want to continue to do that, I want to win. I believe in the people we have.”