Devon McTavish

Behind the Badge: Graduation

As a professional soccer player, many of D.C. United's young players are faced with a difficult situation as they attempt to pursue their careers while also finishing their college studies. Because the MLS SuperDraft takes place in January, many of the drafted players have a semester of classes left to finish.

When they could be in the middle of their final semester, they are instead learning to balance being on the road and having a strict practice schedule. Because of the grueling pace of the season, D.C. United rookies Jeff Carroll, Rod Dyachenko, Devon McTavish, Andy Metcalf and Justin Moose have all had to make adjustments to the their academic pursuits for their professional careers.

United's first round draft pick Moose was able to graduate from Wake forest University this past December prior the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. Carroll finished his studies at St. John's University, but could not walk at his graduation this past Sunday because he was playing in the reserve game against Kansas City. Dyachenko (University of Nevada Las Vegas) and McTavish (West Virginia University) are taking online courses and expect to graduate within the year. Metcalf, from the University of Memphis, is currently taking classes and expects to finish in December.

New faces
Three fresh faces are among those training with the Black-and-Red this week: Caleb Patterson, Amir Lowery and Pat Carroll.

Patterson hails from Australia and has previously spent time with Anderlecht of Belgium and Sheffield Wednesday and Liverpool of England. The 18-year old goalkeeper was also with the Toowamba Raiders in his home country last year.

A Washington native, Lowery was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the fourth round of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. The midfielder spent four years at Wake Forest University where he was a teammate of both Brian Carroll and Moose. Lowery made a single appearance for the Rapids in 2005.

Carroll, a standout at West Virginia University with Devon McTavish, is Brian and Jeff Carroll's younger brother.

Schedule change
In response to a Gillette Stadium scheduling conflict, D.C. United's game vs. the New England Revolution on July 26 in Foxborough, Mass., has been moved to Sept. 13. The game is now set for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

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