It appears that for the second straight year the New England Revolution have traded the rights to a discovery signing to another club.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post has the initial report, and is one of the best in the business, but neither the Revs or D.C. United have confirmed the possible transaction. The logic of the deal however is easy to track.
Bill Hamid is set to miss several months with a knee injury he suffered in the offseason. That leaves DC with a need at the position despite Andrew Dykstra already filling in for DC in their CONCACAF Champions League opener last week. Charlie Horton had already stated his intent to join MLS when he left Leeds for personal reasons last November, so the only question was where would Horton end up.
With DC needing another solid keeper until Hamid's return, DC seems like an ideal landing place for the United States U-23 keeper. All that is left is to sort out exactly how the Revolution claimed Horton's rights.
On the surface, this seems like another bit of shrew business from New England, similar to last year's trade of Sebastian Lletget to the LA Galaxy. The Revs held Lletget's discovery rights, didn't offer a contract to the player, and took $50,000 in allocation from LA to trade the player's rights.
Now, we can talk about the discovery process all we want, and we did this last year, but there's no downside to the Revolution having a discovery claim on Horton. He's a US youth international, has experience in England and it is a position where the Revs aren't desperate for an upgrade with Bobby Shuttleworth and Brad Knighton as the established first choice and backup keepers.
Horton could get a really solid chunk of playing time in DC early in the year and possibly longer depending on Hamid's health. The Revs get some assets to use on something else, seems like a win-win for everyone involved.
Former contributor Corey Major also brings up the possibility of the Revs using assets from the possible Horton trade to acquire Je-Vaughn Watson's rights from FC Dallas. Watson is currently on trial with the Revs and featured in their preseason finale. The MLS roster compliance day is tomorrow, March 1st.
We'll update this story as more information comes out.