D.C. United’s acquisition of Yamil Asad and what it means for the attack

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Yamil Asad (middle) had a memorable 2017 run with Atlanta United. Can he pull off a similar effort with D.C. United in 2018 (Photo Credit: Nick Danielson Visuals)

After three attempts at trying to beat D.C. United Yamil Asad decided to join D.C. United. On Tuesday after weeks of speculation the 23 year old Argentine finally made the move to D.C. after he was traded to the Black-and-Red from Atlanta United for cash considerations.

For Asad, Atlanta will receive the following: $200,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money in 2018; $100,000 in GAM and $100,000 in TAM in 2019; and $100,000 in GAM in 2020 presuming Asad plays one MLS match. Asad is still on loan from his previous club Velez Sarsfield of Argentina. In order for Asad to join D.C. the club had to negotiate a loan agreement with his parent club. As of the publication of this piece those terms have not been disclosed.

Asad, 23, scored 7 goals and tallied 13 assists  for Atlanta last season. His creative footwork and decisive passes into midfielder Miguel Almiron and forward Josef Martinez helped spark one of the most dynamic attacks in Major League Soccer history. Atlanta’s 70 goals last season were second most in MLS.

The Asad moves caps an interesting week for D.C. which saw the club add defender Oniel Fisher from the Seattle Sounders and cut Sheanon Williams, John Requejo, as well as two draft picks from their camp.

While the other moves are important in terms of figuring out the club’s roster depth the Asad move gives Olsen another weapon on the attack. The question is now: where does he fit in? Last season with Atlanta Asad seemed to be at his best working down the left flank pulling passes into Almiron in the center-attacking midfielder position and with Martinez as a forward.

One could easily see Luciano Acosta filling in for Almiron here and either Darren Mattocks or Patrick Mullins serving as a substitute for Martinez. Acosta and Mullins thrived in a similar set-up in 2016 with Patrick Nyarko and Lloyd Sam forcing defenders to go wide in 2016. At least on paper Asad and Paul Arriola could meet or exceed what Nyarko and Sam did for that side.

As for the final two midfield spots Russell Canouse still has a clear edge over the rest of the contenders. That would then leave one spot for Ian Harkes, Ulises Segura, Jared Jeffrey, Junior Moreno, Zoltan Stieber, and Nick DeLeon although it should be noted both De Leon and Moreno can play in the defense and Stieber at times has been used as a forward.

D.C. United’s preseason will continue on Saturday as they take on the Philadelphia Union in the Suncoast Invitational in Tampa, Florida (5pm EST). The match will be streamed on D.C. United’s website.

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Senior Editor-Prost Amerika. Reporter-Soccer 360 Magazine and SoccerWire. Occasional Podcaster- Radio MLS. Member of the North American Soccer Reporters union. Have a story idea? Email me: managers@prostamerika.com

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