Nov 29, 2011

DC United's Clyde Simms is On the Way Out?

Today DC United has annouced that the club has acquired Robbie Russell from Real Salt Lake in exchange for a 2013 Draft Selection. That may sound like a cheap price to pay, but Russell, as an out of contract veteran was likely to be put into the Re-Entry Draft where DC would have picked him up on a freebie.  This way, RSL gets something for Russell and Russell gets to move back closer to his family.  You have to credit RSL for handling this situation in this way, everyone gets something and most importantly, Russell gets to be closer to his family.  RSL gave Russell something he wanted, which RSL didn't have to do.  That is class.

Given that DC United's back line looked a bit shaky in the past year, Russell's experience will certainly help. It is not that Perry Kitchen didn't do a decent enough job at right back, but Russell has probably 2-3 years left of playing time, barring injuries and with the return of Dejan Jakovic and the inclusion of Brandon McDonald last year, it seems clear that Ben Olsen is looking to solidify the back line.

While on the face of this move, the victim in this acquisition would appear to be Perry Kitchen. But the true victim is likely to be Defensive midfielder Clyde Simms. Simms' longevity the the Black & Red appears to be ending. In a couple of appearances at defensive midfielder, Perry Kitchen showed a skill and maturity beyond his years and beyond the abilities of Simms. Kitchen made good decisions and transitioned well (and yeah probably got burned a couple of times but the kid is just 19). Kitchen's demeanor on the ball is much calmer and he is a better passer of the ball as well. By contrast, Simms does not appear to be capable of keeping up with the increased speed of play in the MLS, makes poor decisions with his passes (a lot of back passes and lateral passes) and seems incapable to transitioning quickly from defense to attack.

The business side of things looks good for Russell as well.  Russell was paid $134,000 in 2011 by RSL.  Clyde Simms was carrying a $179,000 salary and if you look at that, even giving Russell a modest raise, DC could be saving money.

So with the acquisition of Russell, Kitchen is likely to be moved inside to sit in front of Jakovic and McDonald and put Simms on the bench or the trading block. If DC United cannot unload Simms to an MLS club, I am thinking a loan to a USL/NASL side is in Simms' future.

UPDATE:  According to Steve Goff, the rumor is that Simms' option was not picked up by DC United, so it is likely that Simms will be seen in Wednesday's re-entry draft and won't be with DC United next year at all.  So far no confirmation on that.

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