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Mackay Makes Moves

There seems to be no doubt now that new GM Ally Mackay is free to carry out his job free of the oversight of Dave Kasper. In a few short weeks, a lot has happened.

Two mainstays from Kasper's reign were dismissed: Stewart Mairs (Technical Director) and Sean Howe (Director of Scouting). Mackay brought in two new staffers: Caleb Shreve as assistant GM, and Clarens Cheridieu as director of player personnel.

Shreve worked as a data analyst at Nashville SC in 2020 and 2021 (when Mackay was assistant GM there) and was Head of Analytics for Orlando City FC in 2022 and 2023. (He is not to be confused with music producer Caleb Shreve.) Caleb has a Master's Degree from Columbia University and also a law degree from the University of Richmond; he worked as a criminal defense attorney before venturing into data analytics.

Cheridieu was assistant GM at Loudoun United from 2020-2023. He was also a camp coach and general worker with DC United before the pandemic. Cheridieu is originally from Haiti and played high school soccer in Roanoke, VA and college soccer at Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA.

There have also been multiple player trades and moves.

The first big move was trading Chris Durkin to St. Louis City FC for Lucas Bartlett (center back), Jared Stroud (winger) and $300K.

Bartlett, 26, is 6'3 and originally from Kansas City. He played college soccer at Loyola Chicago, Drake and St. John's, also playing for Kaw Valley FC (in USL League Two) in Kansas. He was drafted by FC Dallas in 2022, and played one year in the Dallas organization, mostly at North Texas SC (MLS Next Pro). Bartlett joined St. Louis when they began as an expansion club this past year and started 12 games.

Stroud, 27, is 5'10" and originally from Chester NJ. He played college soccer at Colgate and was in the New York Red Bulls’ system from 2015 through 2020. He was selected by Austin FC in the 2021 expansion draft and played there in 2021 and 2022. He was traded to St. Louis before their 2023 inaugural season, where he started 25 games, with 5 goals and 5 assists.

Next, Ruan (and a chunk of money) was traded to CF Montreal for Aaron Herrera. Herrera was born in the US (Las Cruces, NM). He played college soccer at the University of New Mexico and then played 5 seasons at Real Salt Lake (2018 - 2022). Herrera joined CF Montreal in December 2022 and played with them for the 2023 season. He played for the US Under-20 national team but plays with the Guatemalan national team now, making his debut for Guatemala in June 2023.

Finally, on December 15, DC claimed midfielder Ethan Dobelaere off waivers from the Seattle Sounders. Ethan, 21, is 5'9" and grew up in the Seattle area. He came through the Seattle academy system and has also played with the lower-division Tacoma Defiance and on loan in the Czech Republic (also known as Czechia).

On the existing players front:

  1. Yamil Asad, Eric Davis, Jose Fajardo, Jacob Green, Brendan Hines-Ike, Erik Hurtado, Andy Najar, Nigel Robertha, and Gaoussou Samak will all be gone in 2024; their contract options were "not exercised".

  2. Russell Canouse and Ted Ku did have their options exercised and will be back. Yay Ted!

  3. Akinmboni, Benteke, Birnbaum, Bono, Dajome, Kristian Fletcher, Jeremy Garay, Jackson Hopkins, Jeahze, Klich, Tyler Miller, Martin Rodriguez, Pedro Santos, Hayden Sargis, and LUis Zamudio are all under contract and will be back (barring trades).

  4. Derrick Williams and Donovan Pines are both free agents; Williams apparently will not be resigned. The club is open to resigning Pines but he is looking at other options; we will see on him.

Mackay wanted to name a head coach by Christmas, which is 9 days away; we'll see. Bruce Arena has been reinstated for coaching vacancies by MLS following his New England Revolution resignation a few months ago; does this mean he may be our next coach, or not? Again, we'll see.


The Nest Liner

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