D.C. United Loading Up on Talent to Erase Memories of 2013 Season

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 18, 2013

Oct 30, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson (7) during pre game warm ups prior to the game against the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference with a lowly 16 points and just three wins in 34 games, D.C. United needed plenty of change.

Luckily for soccer fans inside the Beltway, the club has done just that in the young offseason by bringing in a few experienced veterans and a future designated player. 

It all started on Dec. 10 when United acquired Davy Arnaud from Montreal in exchange for an international roster spot.

Two days later, Ben Olsen's side snatched two veterans in the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft. The 2013 U.S. Open Cup winners strengthened their defense by adding Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell during the re-entry process.

D.C. continued to make waves this week as they brought in a disgruntled Eddie Johnson from Seattle in a trade that sent allocation money back to the Pacific Northwest.

Then came the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft where the Black and Red added Fabian Espindola and Nana Attakora with their two selections. 

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With six new players now in the squad, Olsen and his staff have plenty to work with during the final few months of the offseason.

Franklin and Boswell will anchor a defense setup that was ravaged by 59 goals in 2013, a total that was second-worst in the league behind Chivas USA's 67.

The duo will likely be paired with Chris Korb and Dejan Jakovic to form a back four that on paper already looks better than the 2013 version of the back line in front of goalkeeper Bill Hamid. 

Attakora will also challenge for a spot in the back four on a consistent basis, which gives Olsen some experienced depth to work with heading into 2014. 

Arnaud and Espindola add a bit of flair to the midfield, which already contains some strong talent in Chris Pontius and Perry Kitchen. 

While all of the new acquisitions mentioned above will gain some traction with fans, the biggest name is Johnson, who needs to be in prime goalscoring form ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Unlike in Seattle, Johnson will be the go-to guy in D.C., and all of the pressure will be on his shoulders to score for the prestigious Eastern Conference club. 

Johnson can have an attitude at times, but what forward doesn't carry an edge with him in today's game? 

The 29-year-old United States international revived his career in Seattle after a disappointing time in England with Fulham, and he has made himself a constant fixture on the international level again. 

Whether you agree with it or not, Johnson's status as a designated player is warranted, and in due time, he will receive that designation as a part of his move to the nation's capital. 

On top of all the offseason moves they have already made, D.C. also contains the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft in January.

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