New D.C. United head coach Wayne Rooney began reshaping his roster when he released German winger Julian Gressel to the Vancouver Whitecaps for a general allocation amount of $900,000 on Friday.
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In a press release, the Washington-based team explained that it had made this decision in order to better adjust to the tactical choices of Rooney, hired on Tuesday.
“We want to add players who will adjust well to our new system of play and who will help Wayne accomplish his goals on the court. We would like to thank Julian for his incredible service to the club since joining us from Atlanta in 2020 and wish him the best in Vancouver,” said D.C. United President of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper.
Gressel played a rather unique role for the Black-and-Red, running the length of the pitch to be both defender and attacking winger. D.C. United have said they want to move away from this player profile and that they will take advantage of the amount of money donated by the Whitecaps to add other pieces to their puzzle.
"He was on our radar for a long time and we are very happy to have reached an agreement," said Vancouver athletic director Axel Schuster. Over the past five years in the league, Julian has proven himself to be one of the best players in MLS, regardless of position, and he is one of the best passers in the league.
The 28-year-old has hit the 10-assist plateau three times in five seasons since joining Major League Soccer. He should be able to do it again this year, he who has seven in 17 games.
Attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison, who played under Rooney at Derby County, England, could be D.C. United's next signing. The team could use a targeted stipend amount to make the Jamaican international their next Designated Player, according to the 'Washington Post' daily.