WASHINGTON – In an ongoing effort to generate more offense for a club that’s scored an MLS-worst six goals in 12 matches this season, D.C. United could have a newfound option in newly-signed winger Sainey Nyassi.
The fleet Gambian midfielder was released by New England on May 16 and signed by United 11 days later after coach Ben Olsen and his staff liked what they saw during his trial period.
Nyassi played 30 minutes with his new club in United’s US Open Cup win over the Richmond Kickers on Tuesday and said he feels like he’s got more in him.
“That was good,” he said. “I’ve been out for quite a while, not getting minutes. All I did was practice at New England. Thirty minutes was definitely good. I felt great after the game, I have my legs back and I think I can go more than 30 now, so hopefully we’ll see what the coaches are going to come up with.”
Olsen confirmed Friday that the club has released Panamanian midfielder Marcos Sánchez, meaning that Nyassi moves one spot further up the depth chart in competition for playing time.
“You still see some qualities that not a lot of guys have in this league from a one-v-one standpoint,” Olsen said of Nyassi. “He’s relentless in his ability to go after you and trying to get to the end line and get balls in. He can create havoc. I’m happy with the pickup and I hope he has a successful stint here.”
After being signed by the Revolution in 2007, Nyassi compiled eight goals and four assists in 102 appearances but has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury of late. He said he’s had a conversation with United’s coaching staff about what they’re hoping to see from the 24-year-old.
“That’s very important to know what the coaches want from me,” Nyassi said. “They told me what they needed from me, to unlock the defense and try to get by the defenders and whip in crosses. Not just that, but there are other things the coaches don’t have to teach you but you have to be smart about on the field.”
“He brings something new,” goalkeeper Joe Willis said. “He’s got a lot of pace and I’m pretty excited to see him play.”
United travel to play Chicago on Sunday (5 pm ET, UniMas) and will attempt to record their first MLS victory since March 9.