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RSL acquire McDonald from D.C. United in exchange for draft picks

Brandon McDonald


Reeling from recent injuries to their backline, Real Salt Lake addressed one of their most pressing needs on Wednesday.

RSL acquired centerback Brandon McDonald in a trade with D.C. United in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and a conditional draft selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The 27-year-old McDonald returns to the Western Conference for the first time since 2011, when D.C. United acquired him from the San Jose Earthquakes.

The injury bug has seemed to bite RSL’s centerbacks this season, with Carlos Salcedo the most recent victim. Salcedo had surgery to remove his gall bladder following the 3-0 defeat to Dallas last Saturday. Other centerbacks Chris Schuler and Kwame Watson-Siriboe are on the sidelines due to injury, with Watson-Siriboe set to miss the rest of the season.

With McDonald, RSL picks up much needed depth while D.C. United gets rid of a player who didn’t look to be in head coach Ben Olsen’s plans. McDonald hadn’t seen time in any of D.C. United’s last four games, with Olsen preferring Ethan White to play in one of the centerback positions.

In his D.C. United career, McDonald has played in 63 games, scoring three goals and adding five assists in MLS play.

McDonald will be eligible to make his RSL debut this Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium against Sporting Kansas City. RSL moved Rich Balchan to the disabled list to make room for McDonald on the roster.

What do you think of this move? Do you believe D.C. United received fair value in return? Do you see McDonald helping RSL in the second half of the season?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. McDonald is pants. RSL got a warm body that can make most of the plays, but is not too bright. Unfortunately he is also vocal so expect lots of mix ups in the back — especially with the goalie. DCU wins even if the trade was for a bag of magic beans. He also has a big salary. Hope RSL picks all of that up too.

    • So you think little of McDonald but what part of last years success did he have dcu did he play? Just curious since I don’t follow dc but they were competitive last year and I know he played a lot.

      • DCU was luckier than good last season. BMac was better last year too. He still hoofs the ball over the top and yells the wrong assignments during play. Maybe RSL can return him to avg defender status. Problem is his high salary.

  2. I like the move as an RSL fan. I didn’t know salcedo was hurt also. Salcedo was doing well as a teen rookie but McDonald fills in well for RSL. He just went from worst to first so this has to be an exciting move for him.

    Third and second round draft picks aren’t much for a player who was a regular starter in MLS.

  3. I’m a B-Mac supporter. He was really important to the team’s success last year. DC endured a lot of “bend but don’t break” games in the early part of the season. For some reason, McDonald never rebounded from his two really bad games.

    Good for him, though. The move to RSL re-connects him with his dream of playing soccer professionally. If you’ve seen any of DC United’s games this season, you will realize that this year’s squad doesn’t afford players the opportunity to play soccer.

    • greatest comment of all time

      i have never been a fan of bmac but that last line is on point

      he must be geeked to be out of this mess in washington

    • It’s a new DCU marketing scheme: “We’re going to draw eleven numbers before the match. If you seat matches those numbers, you’ll get to play for DCU! So come on out and support the team! We need the attendance boost!”

    • McDonald has barely been playing after the first two months of the season. Ethan White and Connor Shonosky have moved ahead of him on the depth chart. And Dejan Jakovic is coming back from injury. And Woolard may move to central defense. So no, Ben Olsen isn’t going to have to play CB.

      It’s a good move by both teams. McDonald has had a terrible season and is now in Olsen’s doghouse. He needs a change of scenery. RSL is a well run ship with strong leaders and a good vibe in the club house. That, plus PT, plus playoffs will straight up McDonald’s attitude and get him refocused. And DCU moved a guy who was dead weight and will clear a lot of cap room for next year (not this year). As for RSL, they not only get emergency help, but McDonald played outstanding soccer last year. He’s proven he can play in this league. Now, he may not be able to last anyplace more than about 2 years before something goes wrong, but this is absolutely a good move by RSL.

      • As serviceable as McDonald was last year, he has not played well this year. And that was before the bottom fell out.

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