In the span of 48 hours D.C. United have acquired Finnish International midfielder Markus Halsti and Costa Rican International striker Jairo Arrieta to help bolster the squad ahead of their 2015 campaign.
Halsti, a 30-year old free transfer from Swedish front runner’s Malmo FC, will most likely slip into central midfield alongside Perry Kitchen. Halsti played for Malmo for seven seasons and brings exstensive UEFA Champions League experience to the Black-and-Red. Davy Arnaud, who played in successful partnership with Kitchen for most of 2014, will now most likely fill the Lewis Neal role of veteran backup though I expect the fiery Arnaud to have a lot to say on the field in preseason in competition with Halsti for that role.
Arrieta comes over in a trade with Orlando City SC for a 2015 International Player spot. Arrieta was selected by Orlando City in the recent Expansion Draft in December. Arrieta scored 17 goals with 9 assists in his three years in Columbus before being selected last month by Orlando City.
Both players will help build depth for the club as the team begins their 2015 season with a two-leg aggregate series with Costa Rican champion Alejuelense beginning on February 26th in Costa Rica. United will also add a few more players to the squad in the form of draft picks being made when the MLS SuperDraft starts tomorrow in Philadelphia. United currently holds the 17th pick (1st Round) and 42nd pick (last pick in 2nd round) but as well all know, there is a ton of wheeling-and-dealing going on during the Draft and United may improve their positioning or they may trade down for bonus picks.
Either way, United’s roster is shaping up nicely ahead of the start of training camp on January 22nd.