The reigning USL MVP is coming to the nation’s capital. On Friday, D.C. United announced that they had signed Reno 1868 FC forward Dane Kelly to a contract. Exact terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
Kelly, 27, won the second division’s top player award after an 18 goal season for Reno helping the club earn a playoff appearance in their expansion season. The Jamaican international (two caps, one goal) is USL’s all-time leading goalscorer with 56 goals over the course of the past five seasons. Prior to his time with Reno Kelly featured for the Charleston Battery (2011-2015) and Swope Park Rangers (2016). As he is a U.S. permanent resident, Kelly will not count as an international player for D.C.
D.C.’s attacking situation is still very much in flux even after the club added Darren Mattocks in the offseason. Although the club did earn a 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC on Saturday Mattocks did miss a penalty kick opportunity and was denied a one-versus-one opportunity against goalkeeper Joe Bendik. Patrick Mullins also played five minutes last week and may be given additional minutes on Sunday against Atlanta United FC (3PM EST, ESPN).
Kelly’s speed and ability to create space against multiple defenders should work well with midfielders Yamil Asad and Luciano Acosta. Asad scored in his D.C. debut on Saturday while Acosta will be making his 2018 debut against Atlanta after having served his red card suspension.
One other quick note: D.C. United have extended their partnership with USL side Richmond Kickers for the 2018 season. D.C. have held an affiliate agreement with the Kickers since 2013. The club also announced that goalkeeper Travis Worra and Bruno Miranda will be joining the club on loan. The exact terms of the loan were not disclosed although it should be noted that D.C. generally tends to favor short-term loans so that players could still be accessible to them in the event of an injury or suspension to their main roster.