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RSL trades Russell to D.C. for draft pick


Photo by Howard C. Smith/

D.C. United took a step in reinforcing its back line by acquiring veteran right back Robbie Russell from Real Salt Lake on Tuesday.

D.C. sent a third-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft (a first round Supplemental Draft pick if the SuperDraft stays in its two-round format) in exchange for Russell, who was out of contract with RSL after four years of playing for the club. 

While he was a stout contributor on the back line for RSL during his tenure there, the 32-year-old Russell also contributed the game-winning penalty kick in the 2009 MLS Cup against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and his experience will be a valuable tool for a young D.C. defense that faltered down the stretch during its quest for the postseason in 2011.

What do you think of the deal?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. Classy vet….It looks like there might be some qulaity in the 3rd Round of the draft if RSL was willing to do this. I want to see more young foreigners with experience like Plata and Cardozo

  2. I will never forget the kick he gave for RSL’s cup! In my eyes that puts him in the RSL Hall Of Fame. I will always be supportive of him. Good Luck Robbie we’ll miss you!

  3. Actually, this is a class act by both teams.

    1. DCU could have waited for the re-entry draft (but the likely risk someone else would have taken him).

    2. RSL could have played hardball and demanded compensation worth the player (a 3rd round pick won’t get you a Robbie Russell).

    But Russell’s wife works for a big firm in DC. While he loved RSL, he wanted to live with his wife year-round. So RSL and DCU made that happen. It meant DCU had to give up a pick. It means RSL got less than what he’s worth. But it guaranteed that RR didn’t end up going to Toronto or Portland or someplace far away from where his wife is.

    Little things like this are why RSL is a classy organization now. MLS is not so big and the players aren’t so well paid that you can just say “screw your home situation–you belong to us and you’re paid to be a professional.” Doing things like releasing a player who wants out (rather than hanging on for compensation) or taking less so he can go to the best fit for him….in the short term they may not be the best interests of the team but in the long run they earn a rep for people like Lagerway as someone you can work with, someone who isn’t going to stick it to you.

  4. This was really a nice favor for JK to do for Robbie and his family by letting him relocate to DC where his wife works. He will be both a leader and instant starter.

  5. Clyde Simms will definitely be a fantastic tradeable asset for United, he’s still starting caliber in this league and I’m sure we’ll find a taker for him pretty quickly.

  6. Good luck in DC Robbie, against everyone except for RSL, that is.
    As rslfan said above, RR is pure class, one of the nicest players you will ever meet off the field.

  7. Thanks for everyting RR!

    We will miss you, but understand that you want to go to DC.


    RSL Fan

    P.S. – DC, RR is one class act on and off the field. Always a true gentleman.

  8. This is a great move by DC and good business by RSL, a truly classy club.

    But Clyde Simms’ days are now numbered at DC United. Look for Russell at RB and Perry Kitchen to move into defensive midfielder slot.

  9. That’s right. Unless they had worked out a new deal in the next few days, Russell would have been available in the Re-Entry Draft, where DC would have taken him. This way, RSL gets something for him.

  10. RSL is a solid organization doing right by a vet. They didnt want to pay him big money, so they traded him where he wanted to go for family reasons. Classy.

    Maybe he can teach the DC defenders how to win headers inside the six. Always a plus to bring in veterans from top clubs to play with the youngsters.

  11. Thank you RR for your years at RSL. DCU got an above average back, with a lot of experience. I think he’s what you would call a “Cap Casualty”. At $132k and 32 yrs. old, I don’t think RSL could have afforded him in the future.

    True, RR has some definite weaknesses in his game, but has some good strengths, too. I’ll be interested to see how he performs as a “every day” back at DCU.

  12. I love looking through past supplemental drafts on wikepedia. Lots of obscure brothers like Gordon Kljestan, Michael Gavin, and Dustin McCarty.

  13. Thanks Robbie for all your hardwork for the claret-and-cobalt. May you enjoy being closer to your wife and may you have success at DC. You’ll be missed on the Wasatch Front.

  14. Well they may have to have traded him because of his salary as a veteran. Either way as long as Beltran is healthy it doesn’t matter.


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