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Report: D.C. United linked with loan move for Kelman

Southend United and U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team prospect has previously been linked with a move to Tottenham and is now reportedly on the radar of D.C. United.

Kelman is also being linked with EFL Championship Playoff finalist Swansea City, who has a connection with the MLS club. Should he not join the Swans, it is believed D.C. United will acquire him on loan, according to the Southend Echo.

Coming through the ranks at Southend United, the 18-year-old Kelman has been given the early opportunity with the first team in England. After registering one league goal in 10 appearances in 2018-19′, Kelman finished this season tied for the team lead with five goals in 18 appearances.

Despite Kelman’s best efforts, the club struggled for majority of the season, losing a league-high 24 matches while earning the fewest wins of any League One side (4), before ultimately suffering relegation to League Two.

Swansea City was eliminated by Brentford in the EFL Championship Playoff semifinals.

D.C. United did not make it out of the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament and is need of attacking help. Ben Olsen’s side has registered a 1-2-2 record so far this season and will continue regular season play later this month.


  1. From the highlights, he looks a like a poor man’s Carlos Vela. Hard-working, well rounded, live wire of a forward that gets involved in the build up, decent touch, can cross well and finish too.

    DCU has nobody like him (well his work-rate is similar to Arriola but Arriola has poor touch and his crossing is like putting it up and hope for the best) and they will need to pair Kamara with him if it is to be an effective attack.

  2. To me the lower divisions of League ball in England are basically the level of USL or NCAA. He was hurt but he was averaging a goal every 3.6 games in League One. He is not DCU or Spurs’ first team savior, at least today. At their level he is probably a development player. He should either stay in League One with another team and find success there for a full season — if he wants to stay in first team ball — or he should sign someplace in England, Holland, or Germany with a good development program, and basically pretend like he’s just turning pro. Play age group ball for a first division team, sharpen his game. He’s just 18.

    • Swansea not Spurs. The same guy that majority owns DCU owns the Swans. It actually kind of makes sense DC needs strikers they’ve got Ola Kamara and then a 21 yr old from the Estonian league and 17 yr old Griffin Yow. The U23 League in England doesn’t play every week so send him to the US until January and see what you have. He’s likely in contention for U20 qualifying and WC so he shows up for Swansea next summer with a ton of experience without any work from the Swans themselves.

    • Reading up some more on Swansea they lost one starting forward to a loan return and Ayew is likely to be sold. The rest of the striker group are young and relatively unaccomplished. You’d think a “big name” Championship club would be able attract a nice loan player or two but opportunities to compete would be available even if he’s unlikely to start.

      • I’d favor Germany or Holland for the full season development teams but he is almost more English than American so I would be surprised. I’d say second or third division if he stays home, so he plays. The reality is if he signs for someone like Spurs they will loan him out to teams on those levels anyway — Holland second, German lower, England lower. The difference is if he signs there directly he controls where he goes more, and gets a regular team. If he does the loan then he gets stuck in the loan cycle for a contract term, unless he just takes off. A lot of EPL snobs will say sign there but they aren’t thinking how reality works. Reality is if you aren’t already a star a CL type team is sending you right back out — like they did to Pulisic, CCV, Miazga, Steffen. You’re not kept around unless you are seen as someone they can dress. An 18 y/o with 5 goals in L1 isn’t dressing for Spurs this month. The snobs need to look at how a player like Haaland did it. Steady moves up the ladder, it yourself in positions to succeed and where your fate isn’t out of your hands. Too many Americans sign for the money and prestige and lose control of their careers.

      • I didn’t like how Bradley was treated at Swans — and I think we still have a bias issue in Wales — but the trick is Kerman is basically English to them, so maybe he wouldn’t get assumed to be bad. My concern on Swans is as a playoff loser they would be a big jump up the pyramid from L1 relegation. You’re basically talking borderline Championship/EPL ie MLS elite level. He had a handful of goals in L1. He would transfer there in a short summer window. He won’t be their starter. He’d be a borderline bench type there. To me he’d be better off, considering his unusual route into the game through Southend’s academy, basically disappearing back into the normal. 18 year old path of signing to play age group or II team ball for a year.

      • Pulisic was loaned out?
        Southend was Charlie’s hometown team (yes I know he spent sometime in Texas too). That’s how he ended up there. He had some interest allegedly from Spurs and West Ham, likely because his manager was Sol Campbell who started at West Ham’s Academy and then Spurs. I get being afraid of signing big and then being loaned all over but Swansea is far from City or Chelsea. DCU seems like a great landing spot actually, get some first team time, be close for U20 camps and qualifying, spend the rest of this season and maybe next in DC and return to Swans at 20 ready to make waves. He’s actually more protected being loaned to DC because of the ownership ties than he would be signing with some other lower league club.

      • Pulisic signed winter 2018/9 then loaned back to Dortmund til summer 2019. Part of the issue I saw with his integration there was he was a Sarri-era signing playing for Lampard by the time he arrived. As a result he had to “earn his way on the team” past lesser players who were the coach’s choices.

      • MLS, to me, is Championship level. Euro fans routinely underrate the quality needed to succeed here. DC doesn’t have schmucks. DC already has Lesser Higuain with 2 goals in a few games this year. Kamara played with hit and miss success in first division third tier Europe. He has scored double digit goals in each of his 3 full seasons here and had 3 goals in 6 games last season. They might want to upgrade but in MLS that would mean upwards, not downwards. He’d be either bench or maybe even USL back here right now. DC might have a better frontline than Swansea if Brewster is pulled back to LFC. Even at the bottom of MLS teams like my Dynamo have Manotas, Elis, Quintero, Ramirez; LAG has Chicharito and Pavon. If he was a defender, yeah, I think MLS teams are top heavy and someone who could play defense might zoom past the competition. But we buy a ton of forwards here. This is no longer a safety school that way — look at a player like Carleton in Atlanta. This is half the reason the league isn’t the ideal USMNT incubator anymore, is domestic attackers can’t find there feet here so easy as kids. No, if he wants to play first team ball this isn’t his easy out, it would be either staying in his division in England and producing more, or playing in a second or third division on mainland Europe. Or I think the smarter play is use Southend as a springboard into a big club age group system, someplace like Germany where they play fuller schedules. But that’s put aside your ego and “I am already a first teamer” and do what’s best for your career. Otherwise players signing in England then being loaned out are a dime a dozen, and a player who paces out at maybe 10 goals a full year in League One, is USL or League One material. He needs to do something with his career where he has a chance to compete with Sargent, etc.

    • Pulisic was a sign and loan only because it was a way to get around the transfer ban. When asked when the deal was done Sarri said “I don’t know anything about that.”


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