Davy Arnaud has been such a great soldier in Major League Soccer for so very long.
He was a fixture forever around Kansas City, a workaday midfielder who had enough pop in his attacking game – especially when it came to fierce shooting form the 20-25 yard range – that opponents respected it, or else.
He has been a solid man in the central third for Montreal, too, a versatile crowd favorite and a leader.
Alas, Arnaud has reached a point in any professional athlete’s career when the spring in the legs gives way; he is 33, set to turn 34 mid-season of next year.
So it’s hard to see what D.C. United is doing trading for Arnaud, which happened Tuesday morning. In exchange, United sent an international roster spot to the Impact for 2014 and 2015.
The Washington Post’s Steven Goff said the club has already come to contract terms with Arnaud, surely for less than the $275,000 he made in 2013. Arnaud can add a little bite that was sometimes missing from United’s midfield, and he certainly provides some depth and cover for what promises to be a busy season. (In addition to U.S. Open Cup, which United always prizes, the team will appear in CONCACAF Champions League this coming year, all in addition to 34 regular season MLS matches.)
Still, this is not game-changer around RFK Stadium. Truth is, if there are big, sweeping roster moves afoot, and if Arnaud is being brought in to show a bunch of young bucks how to be a pro, then the move may look OK.
But if this is a central element (or anything in the vicinity) in the enormous reconstruction project required of a team that just endured the worst season in MLS history, then it’s a case of “same old, same old” around RFK.
Here’s the other thing that must be said upon every D.C. United player transaction: the club has long since forfeited all benefit of the doubt. So many personnel moves have not just gone wrong for United, but spectacularly so. Too many to begin listing, really.
It makes having faith in any move the longstanding United personnel brain trust a pretty tough haul.