WASHINGTON – Charlie Davies’ future at D.C. United may hang in the balance, but the club still saw fit to protect him in this Wednesday’s Expansion Draft.
Davies, who scored 11 goals for D.C. this year, is in the final months a of a year-long loan to MLS from French club Sochaux. And while his playing time dwindled down the stretch, the United technical staff decided to keep him protected.
“Charlie’s a very valuable piece and we feel like he has real value within our league,” assistant coach Chad Ashton told MLSsoccer.com. “That’s part of how you establish your list.”
By retaining his rights, D.C. could try and engineer a deal with another MLS club if Sochaux decides to send him back to the league, or try and negotiate another deal to bring him back to the nation’s capital.
Another player on the protection list was rookie Perry Kitchen. After leading the club in minutes and games played, the 19-year-old graduated from the Generation adidas program, a development that wasn’t guaranteed but not completely unexpected.
“You never know for sure till you finally hear, but obviously the guy played almost every minute of the entire year for us, so you had a reasonable thought process there,” Ashton said.
While United’s quartet of Home Grown players – Bill Hamid, Conor Shanosky, Andy Najar and Ethan White – are automatically exempt from the draft, a number of familiar faces are unprotected. They include three of D.C.’s longest-tenured players in Marc Burch, Santino Quaranta and Devon McTavish.
The decision to leave players out is not an easy one, and D.C. will wait and see if they will be one player short already in the offseason as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s definitely tough, and obviously you value all the players on your team,” Ashton said. “Until that actual draft is over, you don’t know exactly what’s going on with your team so you have to kind of wait and hope and go from there.”
D.C. United’s Protected XI
Goalkeeper: Joe Willis
Defenders: Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Chris Korb
Midfielders: Clyde Simms, Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario
Forwards: Josh Wolff, Charlie Davies
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, college and youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com.