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Danny Szetela joins D.C. United

Danny Szetela 1 ( 

Danny Szetela is officially back in MLS.

The former U.S. Olympic team midfielder has re-signed with Major League Soccer and was allocated to D.C. United on Wednesday, completing his return to the league just two years after leaving the Columbus Crew to sign with Racing Santander.

Szetela, 22, joins a strong D.C. squad that already boasted one of the best groups of young talent in MLS, with rookies Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace leading the club's recent youth movement.

Szetela, who met with D.C. officials on Tuesday to finalize the move, is expected to provide cover in central midfield, where oft-injured captain Ben Olsen and underperforming midfielder Andrew Jacobson have been used alongside Clyde Simms. Szetela can also provide cover on the right flank.

FC Dallas had first crack at Szetela in the MLS Allocation Draft, but passed on taking him in order to remain with the first option on any current or former U.S. national team players looking to return to MLS.

What do you think of the signing? Happy to see Szetela back in MLS? Think he'll fit in well with D.C. United? Disappointed FC Dallas or New York didn't land him?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. agreed with the allocation stuff has got to go. why not let the centralized league just deal with payroll instead of player opperations.

  2. The league needs to stop making the moves, let the clubs figure it out on their own. Bottom line is that all this zeal behind trying to be “fair” the league is losing out on talent because players don’t want to come back and play for one of 15 random teams, but rather a team of their choice.

    They should concern themselves mainly with attracting talent, and that comes from free movement.

    This league already has enough equality measures to make us sick. This is one that definately can stand to be cut.

  3. Are we blaming United? I don’t see it that way, I just think the league has assbackwards rules for many situations. If the league had a rule saying C Ronaldo, L Messi and C Fabregas all had to sign with DC I sure as heck wouldn’t blame DC for taking them, it’s just the way the league rules were set up (or in some cases dreampt up by Garber after lunch)

  4. 1. My understanding is that FCD passed for two reasons:
    –they’ve got a young midfield and Szetela makes them younger
    –they have hopes of getting someone else
    Now you can say that they could have traded that allocation spot to someone. Who? San Jose could use Szetela and they’re trying to dump Convey–FCD won’t go for that. NYRB would offer Khano Smith and a bunch of other players–why would FCD be interested? The point here is that FCD thinks they have a chance of getting more by using that allocation spot themselves than what they’d get for it in trade. So trading it would be a mistake.

    2. The people who insist that this is unfair b/c DCU is doing well forget something–the allocation order was based on record (and DCU didn’t make the playoffs last year). And then other teams used or traded their allocations. That’s why DCU was in the position they’re in. Other teams (like TFC, SJ) used their allocations because they didn’t want to wait or felt they player/talent they were acquiring was worth more. We’ll see on that–too early to tell.

    Besides, MLS provides a lot of ways for bad teams to have things balanced in their favor:
    –draft order
    –waiver order
    –allocation order
    And refusing to allow teams to sign anyone they want (but having some limits like discoveries and allocation order) is a way of protecting small markets and poor teams.

    3. Finally, the argument that DCU is stockpiling talent…um…there will be expansion this off-season and DCU will lose someone who is a decent player (as will Houston, as will Toronto, as will Chivas, as will Chicago). And then the next year the best teams will lose 2 players (2 expansion teams). That’s going to be 5 consecutive years of expansion teams taking talent. So this is not and has never been a case of a team stockpiling and hogging talent. Especially when you can sign players from around the world.

    Maybe Szetela will realize his potential and his rep–in which case MLS and the USMNT benefit significantly. Or maybe he turns out to be Jason Moore–a useful, journeyman CM sub. Time will tell.

  5. Yea, seriously. You guys are BLAMING United for being good. Sorry?

    I agree that the league needs to restructure quite a few things (allocation, salary cap, etc), but there is no need to blame United for wanting to succeed. The kid wanted to come here above anywhere else. So stop complaining.

  6. Look, don’t hate on DC just because they actually know what they are doing. They did very well to get a bunch of good young players before this and happened to be #2 in the allocation order because of last year.

    It’s amazing what competence year in and year out does

  7. What a crap summer for Clifton soccer fans, first the Rossi brace vs US and now this.

    But who knows, given their track record, Agoos/Osorio would have passed on Szetela anyway.

  8. Sorry, but this just plain sucks and is utterly inconsistent with what the league is trying to accomplish. As soon as Portland and Vancouver are on board, Seattle should join them in immediately pushing to open this league. There are at least a half dozen teams that need Danny. Instead, he goes to a team that is stocked with enough young talent to take it into the next decade. Wow, the longer I’m in this league, the more I want to get the hell out.

  9. Sounds like a washout to me. Not sure this move is his vehicle to gain a national team spot, as others have suggested. He was basically passed over and shipped back home from Europe. Believe it or not soccer fans, not all players mature, develop and go on to fame and fortune. Some flat-line, regress and retreat. I am not certain that is the case here, but it sure looks like it.

  10. the CBA is up after this year so you can bet they’ll soften up this single entity shinnadigans.

    teams not resigning players but yet still owning their rights,allocation order and restructering the DP rule so teams that use it are not punished should all be revisited topics in the next contract talks with the union.

  11. Kevin:

    because players sign contracts with the league, not with teams. Teams don’t pay their salary (except DPs) the league does, technically.

  12. Zingzap:

    unless, of course, you include the draft (determined by finish the previous year) and the starting allocation order (determined by finishing position last season) remember that LA, San Jose and Seattle have all used their allocation spots this season (Berhalter, Convey, Keller) and Toronto traded theirs to Houston who used it on Felix Garcia. there you have the teams who missed the playoffs last season save the Rapids, who have the next spot in the allocation (from what I can tell). Ironically, the one goal that put NY into the playoffs last season over DC and is still apparently saving Osorio’s job cost the team a shot at Szetela,

    don’t worry, the bad teams will have better draft picks next season…

  13. To expand on what zongzap said, why can’t teams just sign whichever players they want? The entire concept of allocation is extremely stupid.

  14. Robbie Rodgers failed in Europe and came back to the MLS. Now he’s in the National Team pool. I think Danny saw this move as a way to get back in the National Team picture. It worked for Rogers…

  15. Now that DC has signed him, does anyone know the current claim order? Obviously Dallas remains at the top, but after that…

  16. glad to have him. how could you not be? he must want to be back in MLS (certainly he could have signed on somewhere in Europe if he’d wanted to) and he told YA that he wanted DCU. so assuming he’s come back to rebuild his career, he’s welcome. plus, DCU has the veteran leadership (Moreno, Olsen) to tell him to shut up if he starts being the old Danny again.

  17. I think the system is flawed and just plain stinks. Teams on the bottom never get any help and are doomed to remain there while those that on or near the top get everything. DC is in third place in the East, why should they get help while there are teams that have trouble fielding a competitive team and have an eroding fan base because of it.

    I’m just surprised the league didn’t channel him to NY or LA

  18. Wow dallas passed.. i’m betting they could have traded the spot at least.. they aren’t good you know.. they could use all the help they can get

  19. szetela IS overrated…great athlete by soccer standards…especially american soccer…but limited technical ability…i think hed have a better career as a central defender or a striker

  20. Could be Dallas passed because Szetela is over-rated. He played 34 games in four seasons at Columbus, was shipped off after a half season at Satander and was benched by a second tier club in Italy. Maybe they’re hoping they can get Beasley or Heath Pearce though it will probably cost them more. They both have their issues too, but have played at a higher level.

  21. BFBS: There are weak rumors Beasley is coming back. That, and Schellas Hyndman is stuck in his ways.

    Almost as bad a coach as Chicago’s… I mean the JerseyDrinks’ Osorio

  22. Can anyone explain FC Dallas’s thinking in passing up on him in more detail? Who do they think has a realistic shot to come back stateside who would be more useful for them than Szetela: Adu, Beasley? I am a bit confounded.

  23. By the way, Red Bulls fans should be happy about this. Seeing a Jersey boy play for a good team? What more could you hope for?

    Surely you don’t wish the horrible fate that playing for the MetroDrinks would bring him? Surely you want to see him succeed?


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