D.C. United are reportedly set to continue their summer wheeling and dealing, as the Washington Post’s Steven Goff and Goal USA’s Ives Galarcep reported on Wednesday that the club are set to make a couple of major changes to their forward line.
Galarcep reported that D.C. are set to send Designated Player Fabian Espindola to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Goff added to the report later on Wednesday morning, tweeting that United will acquire allocation money from the ‘Caps for the Argentine attacker.
While Espindola looks like he’s on his way out, forward Patrick Mullins appears to be headed to the nation’s capital. According to Goff, D.C. are set to acquire the third-year University of Maryland product from New York City FC in exchange for allocation money and an international slot.
The moves would shake up a D.C. attack that has scored the second-fewest goals in MLS this year and fit with head coach Ben Olsen’s pledge to make changes during the summer transfer window.
The fourth overall pick in the 2014 SuperDraft, Mullins scored four goals in 21 appearances in his rookie year with the New England Revolution before being selected by NYCFC in the expansion draft ahead of the 2015 campaign. He had six goals and four assists in 24 appearances for New York last year, but has appeared in just seven regular season matches – only starting twice – this season. He’d likely compete with Alvaro Saborio, who is tied with Espindola for the club lead with four goals in 13 matches this year, for minutes at D.C.’s target striker position.
Espindola has struggled this year as Olsen has primarily used him on the left flank of a 4-1-4-1 formation. Prior to his goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Columbus Crew SC, the 31-year-old hadn’t scored in over two months.
His departure would leave D.C. with newly-acquired Lloyd Sam, Lamar Neagle, Patrick Nyarko, who recently returned from a concussion, and Nick DeLeon, who’s primarily played centrally this year, as potential starters on the wing. He’d add to a Vancouver attacking corps that is down a pair of players after attacker Kekuta Manneh’s recent foot surgery and the transfer of striker Octavio Rivero earlier this month.