d.c. united's coach ben olsen is getting to work developing the team in the offseason
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DC United home in on 2013 additions at striker and midfield

The holiday season may be in full force, but D.C. United and their front office are busier than ever in search of the pieces that will help the club next season.

After a successful 2012 campaign that saw United break a five-year playoff drought, head coach Ben Olsen and general manager Dave Kasper have made it clear that the biggest item on their holiday wish list is an elite forward.

Olsen recently returned from a scouting trip to South America as the club continues to survey options.

“We’ve been quite busy,” Kasper told MLSsoccer.com before the late December holiday break, explaining what his staff was up to. “The group has been scattered. Kurt [Morsink] has been various places scouting. Chad [Ashton] has been out watching college games. Benny and Josh [Wolff] were in South America. … We’ve spent many hours in the war room talking about player options and now we’re trying to get some deals done.”

The club has kept busy following the departure of former president and CEO Kevin Payne to Toronto FC. They re-signed right back Robbie Russell and selected midfielder John Thorrington in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. Right back Andy Najar is also currently training with Belgian side Anderlecht.

“He’s a veteran player and he’s very versatile,” Kasper said of Thorrington. “He can play a number of spots in the midfield and I think he’s a nice piece if we’re able to bring him here.”

In addition to an elite forward, United are keen on another midfield option to make up for the loss of veteran Branko Boskovic, who mutually parted ways with the club earlier this offseason.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes, going through various player options,” Kasper said. “This would be a good first step if we’re able to reach an agreement with John and we continue to work toward adding other pieces to the roster.”

Nick Cammarota covers D.C. United for MLSsoccer.com.

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