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Report: USMNT winger Paul Arriola nearing D.C. United move

Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Paul Arriola has recently been linked with an MLS move, and now it appears the U.S. Men’s National Team winger is set to become a major part of a D.C. United rebuild.

According to Goal USA, the Club Tijuana winger is nearing a move to D.C. United. The move comes in the aftermath of the signing of Hungary international Zoltan Stieber and a reporting move for Russell Canouse.

D.C. United will reportedly pay a $3 million transfer fee to Club Tijuana while D.C. will also reportedly compensate the LA Galaxy with 350-500K in allocation money for Arriola’s MLS rights. The fee will reportedly be the largest paid by an MLS team for a Liga MX player and the largest paid for an American under the age of 23.

The winger’s salary is reportedly set to exceed $1 million.

Reports initially surfaced several weeks back linking Arriola with several MLS clubs as well as teams in the Netherlands and Portugal. The winger has been with Club Tijuana since signing his first professional contract with the Liga MX club after leaving the LA Galaxy academy in 2013.

Arriola recently represented the USMNT at the Gold Cup, making five appearances throughout the tournament. The winger has a total of 11 caps with the USMNT along with two senior goals.

The winger recently scored the lone goal in Club Tijuana’s Copa MX win over Puebla but did not start Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Atlante.


  1. Personally, I’d like to see him go to Europe for further development. However, if he got engaged recently, it’s very possible his fiance isn’t keen on that and he probably will be getting as much from DC United as he would in Europe. Players are people, too, and DC is a nice area to live in IMO and his family in the San Diego area can watch every game of his on MLS Live. If the alternative is a small town in Holland or Portugal, then his decision is understandable.

    • “If the alternative is a small town in Holland or Portugal, then his decision is understandable.”

      this is what makes the most sense to me. he’s getting paid well to live comfortably in a nice town, on a team where he’ll easily be one of the best players, not to mention stay right on arena’s radar.

      as a usmnt fan, i’d like to see him jump in the deep end and see if he can excel, but as a dcu fan, i’m not going to get too upset.

  2. Maybe I’m being a skeptic, but I’m not sure how high Arriola’s ceiling really is. I think MLS is probably a good fit for him at this point, and going forward in his career, rather than getting jammed on the bench somewhere in Europe.

    I think he’s the next Ale Bedoya. Solid, runs hard but never really progressed passed the age of 23.

  3. ITS ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!! How about we start paying our players so they come back to MLS. DC united will be looking for a player (one player) to pay $6,000,000 but they can used that money to get some players listed below and pay them well. MAKE MOVES DC!!!!
    In (at least 4 – 6 players from this group)
    Ventura Alvarado
    Jorge Villafana
    Luis gil
    Joseph Gyau
    Rubio Rubin
    Michael Orozco
    Joe Corona
    Edgar Castillo
    Jonathan Bornstein
    Nick DeLeon (love him but he’s not improving as a player)
    Jared Jeffrey
    Marcelo Sarvas
    Taylor Kemp
    Chris Odoi-Atsem
    Sebastien Le Toux
    Bobby Boswell

    • Not sure they are going to sign all three of their DP spots in a day, haven’t heard if Canouse is a DP or not, but I don’t think they would have enough TAM to pay for 4 to 6 players either since they are giving some to LAG.

      Luis Gil is on loan with Orlando who has the option to purchase, if not he goes back to RSL.
      Rubio Rubin just signed with Stabaek in Norway.
      Villafana would have to go through allocation because of his transfer fee to Santos was above 500,000 and DC is last in the order after trading up for Deshorn Brown.

      I’m surprised Gyau doesn’t come up more in DCU talks since he is DC area guy.

      • I am a huge gyau fan and if he chose to play in the 3 bundesliga instead of coming back I don’t think he wants to come back and wants to see if he can make it in Europe. He’s entering his prime now and finally getting healthy and before his injury he cracked BVBs lineup so I think this is a huge year for him and hoping he can impress and get a winter move to a better league. If he has a breakout first half and with connections with David Wagner who knows, I know it’s highly unlikely but we can dream right

  4. As a fan of USMNT I don’t like it at all, but under Arena it doesn’t matter and as long as he plays he will be called up. He did just get engaged during gold cup, so staying stateside might be a priority for him and future family, especially if he’s going to get paid that well

  5. Watch: They’ll play him out of position for a while and then convert him to a defender and brag about it. I still can’t comprehend why suzi is now a defender…

    • Because Vermes is a very smart coach and clearly wanted to convert an aging winger to RB. He just so happens to do it for the best Defense in MLS. He has played the position for a very short period of time and Bruce still gives him the nod over a championship player who has played the position most of his life… Must not bad as bad as you think he is.

      • “Must not be as bad as you think he is.”

        of course he is. you’re basically saying, “who are you going to believe: bruce arena, or your own eyes?”

        i’m assuming you don’t think taylor kemp is a better defender than eric lichaj just because he played for a good defense in dc, because that would be ridiculous: dc had a good defense *in spite* of him.

        there are plenty of reasons why a manager would field an inferior player over another. some are favorites, some are pet projects, some have a specific skill (maybe arena figured—correctly—that against subpar teams he could sacrifice the right defensive flank for zusi’s passing ability). that’s fair (usually), and they’re the manager for a reason, but it doesn’t mean they’re always right.

      • Don’t be ridiculous Nate and don’t cherry pick my comment. Bruce and the eye test will both tell you Zusi is better than lichaj for the US. I don’t need to write a novel to tell you that. Professional coaches need to win to keep their jobs. They’ll field the player that gives them the best chance to win 99.9% of the time… barring rule violations. Get over it.

      • what was i cherry-picking? you reasoned that zusi being on skc’s defense meant he must be a good defender, and i provided an example (kemp) that refuted that line of reasoning.

        “Bruce and the eye test will both tell you Zusi is better than lichaj for the US.”

        nope, that’s an easy one. zusi has had basically one game at right back (the gold cup final, so props to him) where he didn’t need the advanced winger or right cb to be at his side the whole time. lichaj has played maybe 2 bad halves in all his appearances for the usmnt (gold cup 2011 vs mexico, and 2017 vs el salvador). if you didn’t see his other games, then it’s understandable why you feel how you do, but you really should educate yourself if you’re going to argue about something.

        and your statement about “professional coaches” is laughably facile. suffice to say, not all professional coaches start the same players when given the opportunity; it’s almost as if it’s a little more complicated than looking up their fifa ratings.

      • Keep trying Nate dog. The proof is in the pudding. Again, appreciate the novel but drowning me in words won’t work. I’ll cherry pick your comment. 2 bad halfs…. you mean atrocious halfs, against pathetic competition. Futile… it’s the gold cup final. Grow up, we are fielding the best players to win. Don’t act like Rob because of some personal vendetta against Zusi. If lichaj was the best reserve option I’d beg for him to be out there. He isn’t, even though you think your word means more than Bruce’s or anyone else “educated” in the sport… or just any human with eyeballs.

      • Interestingly, back in 1993-94, Ed Barmakian of the Newark Star Ledger suggested that Vermes be converted to fullback. He was adamant about it. Might have kept Vermes on the WC squad in 1994.

      • not trying to convince you—you’re obviously way too invested in zusi for whatever reason—just throwing out counterarguments for anyone with eyes to see. and if you’re drowning in “a novel” of 3 short paragraphs, it’s probably because you don’t want to read a single word.

      • Eric Lichaj is hot trash. No idea what people see in him. Zusi is sub par too but at least he can deliver a ball and has a brain.

  6. As a DC United fan I like the idea behind the recent targeted players….Stieber, Canouse, & Arriola,
    Steiber & Arriola will add speed and attacking threats from the wide positions. Something that the team has truly lacked this past year. Canouse is the CDM that the team has missed ever since Kitchen left.
    If all 3 of these players do end up coming into the squad, it should make for an interesting squad to watch, and should bring them back to respectability next season.

    As it relates to the USMNT I’m not sure how I feel about this. While both Arriola & Canouse should get a ton of minutes….it will not be as challenging or demanding as fighting for 1st team minutes in Europe. Both are young….and will hopefully use the opportunity of consistent minutes to obtain the experience needed to continue their development.

    Should also make the January camp interesting…
    Jozy, Dempsey, Dwyer, Morris
    Nagbe, Arriola, Acosta, Bradley, Canouse, Zardes, Manneh,
    Besler, Zimmerman, Glad, Birnbaum, Garza, Farfan, (not sure about RB)
    Howard, Guzan, Gonzalez, Steffen

    Potentially rest (leave off) Howard & Dempsey to allow them a full off season before the WC. Otherwise this could be an good mix of Veterans & Youth to see what we have in MLS ahead of the WC,while keeping an eye towards the future.

    • Guzan isn’t good enough anymore, and his distribution is infuriating. Time to give others like Gonzalez international experience in January.

  7. Not sure how I feel about this in terms of his professional development, but from a DC United standpoint, looks like they are making the right moves to put butts in seats in the new stadium, and put out a quality team

  8. Not a big fan of this move for Arriola but as a DMV resident and United supporter i love it!!! The United brass decided it was finally time to spend some money and the direction its going in with the latest signings and the new stadium to open in a year hopefully mean good times are around the corner again!

  9. Why isn’t Arriola on the allocation list? He featured for the U20s and U23s, Junior Flores and Rubio Rubin are on the list Arriola has been more successful than those two.


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