According to Steven Goff at the Washington Post D.C. United has once again traded the rights of an out of contract player, this time veteran defender Greg Vanney, to the Los Angeles Galaxy. Vanney returns to the club with which he spent the first six seasons of his career. In return, United has obtained 19 year old midfielder, Quavas Kirk.
"United acquired Vanney last summer from Colorado for defender Facundo Erpen, and although he brought leadership and stability to the back line, he was not able to solve the club's late-season defensive issues.
Kirk skipped college to sign with MLS in 2005, and after being unavailable much of his rookie season with injuries and U.S. under-17 national team commitments, he started 10 regular season games and played in 22 matches in 2006. Last year he had five starts and 11 appearances. An injury prevented him from playing in the Under-20 World Cup in Canada.Kirk, who is 6 feet 1 and fast but with unrefined skills, has played several positions during his youth and MLS careers, but his best role seems to be on the right side of midfield. United lacked depth on the flanks last year and is in need of reinforcement, particularly following Ben Olsen's offseason surgery on both ankles." - Goff, Washington Post
No big surprises here as we expected Vanney to be let go. It became clear United had no intention of re-signing him for 08 after signing two South American defenders in their fleury of international player signings last month that were discussed in this post, on January 29th. However, we are a bit surprised we got more than a draft pick or financial compensation for his rights. It became very clear as the season wore on after the trade that brought him here, that Vanney was not the answer to United's backline woes we had hoped for. United has had problems on central defence since the departure of Ryan Nelsen after their MLS Cup winning 2004 season. It is also apparent that due to Kirk's inexperience, he still qualifies as a Generation Adidas player, and his salary will not count against United's salary cap. Kirk made $110,000 last season with the Galaxy. On the surface it appears this is a very good trade for United. We will reserve judgment on just how good it was, once we see how well Kirk fits in, and just what he can do.