Thursday, April 18, 2013

Is Casey Townsend the Answer for DC United?

Article by Anders Aarhus

It’s no secret DC United is desperate for goals. Picked by many as a Supporters Shield and MLS Cup contender before the season, Ben Olsen’s team is currently last in the Eastern Conference with four points from six games and only two goals scored.

Lionard Pajoy isn’t getting it done. On-loan striker Rafael had a sensational goal against Columbus but has since struggled. Carlos Ruiz has a good track record in MLS but he’s barely seen the field this season and at 33 staying fit for an entire campaign seems unlikely.

As Ben Olsen recently alluded to, United may look for striker help in the summer transfer window, but the answer to the goal scoring woes may already be on the roster. 
Multiple reports have confirmed that second-year striker Casey Townsend was training with the first team today after spending the beginning of the season on loan with the Richmond Kickers. Townsend was highly touted when he was drafted by Chivas USA last year, but had somewhat of a disappointing rookie season tallying just one goal and two assists in 17 games (10 starts). With the Kickers, however, Townsend has been on fire, scoring multiple times throughout the preseason before bagging a brace against Charleston on Saturday.

Here’s what Olsen had to say about his young striker via Soccer By Ives:

“Casey is a guy that we could choose to pull back for good,” coach Ben Olsen said. “We haven’t scored a lot of goals, so we’re always looking for guys that are in form, and he certainly looks to be progressing pretty good with that group. We know he could score goals, so nothing is off the table.”

Sounds like a vote of confidence to me. With the success Bright Dike had for Portland last year after a prolific loan spell in the third division, it’s not hard to imagine Townsend replicating that success. It’s still early in the season and MLS’ forgiving playoff format means DC is far from being out of the title picture. But some needs to start banging in the goals for United to start moving back up the table.

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