D.C. United close to reacquiring Yamil Asad


D.C. United is on the cusp of acquiring Argentine attacker Yamil Asad for the third time in five years, people close to the situation said Wednesday.

The 28-year-old free agent played for the MLS club in 2018 and 2020-21. He has been in Washington for several days, attended United’s opener Saturday at Audi Field, trained with the squad and seems likely to complete contract negotiations soon.

Asad most recently played for Universidad Católica in Chile, where he appeared in 12 matches, all but one as a sub, and scored once. His last game was Nov. 6. Because of fitness issues, it’s unclear when Asad would be in uniform for United, which will visit Columbus this Saturday and host Orlando on March 11. The potential move was first reported by Pulso Sports.

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Coach Wayne Rooney had said last week that United was aiming to sign at least one player within two weeks. Asad and Rooney were teammates on D.C.’s 2018 team.

The club is also eyeing a backup striker after trading Miguel Berry to Atlanta late in training camp. The MLS transfer window will close April 24, then reopen July 5. Asad has U.S. permanent residency and won’t count as an international player; United has two international slots available.

Primarily a left wing, Asad would provide depth to an attack that lost winger Martín Rodríguez (ACL injury) for the season and could be without attacker Jackson Hopkins, a candidate for the U.S. Under-20 World Cup squad in Indonesia, starting in mid-May.

Asad starred for Atlanta in 2017, posting seven goals and 13 assists. He was on loan from Argentine club Velez Sarsfield, and after the sides failed to strike a new deal, D.C., Atlanta and Velez reached agreement for him to play in Washington on loan.

Asad scored the first goal in Audi Field history, a shot from distance against Vancouver on July 18, 2018. He finished with nine goals and eight assists. United’s efforts to retain him failed and he resumed his career in Argentina in 2019. Late that year, however, he agreed to return to Washington in 2020.

Over the next two seasons, Asad recorded just five goals and three assists in 39 appearances. Late in 2021, stuck in then-coach Hernán Losada’s doghouse, Asad saw his playing time dwindle and at times was left off the game-day roster — even when the team did not have enough players to fill out the 20-man squad. After the season, United released him.

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