[MLS TRANSACTIONS]D.C. United signed 19-year-old Wake Forest defender Jalen Robinson to a homegrown contract. He can give D.C. United help at right back or center back, where it needs help and might use the No. 1 pick in next week's SuperDraft to pick one of the two highly rated Cal defenders, Steve Birnbaum or Christian Dean, if the latter signs a Generation adidas contract.
“Jalen is one of the most athletic players in all of college soccer who can play center back or right back,” said D.C. United GM Dave Kasperin a statement. “He is very composed on the ball as he looks to play out of the back, and he also excels at one on one defending.”
Robinson played in 37 games in his two seasons at Wake Forest and scored three goals. He earned second team All-ACC honors in 2013 after anchoring the Demon Deacon defense from his center back position, playing every minute in all but one game that he appeared in.
Robinson is the seventh homegrown signing by D.C. United. Its most successful signings are 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar, who is now at Anderlecht in Belgium, and goalie Bill Hamid, who is in the U.S. national team camp.
Robinson first broke onto the scene for United’s U-15/16s during the 2009-2010 Development Academy and was named to the USSDA Starting XI. He played two seasons with the U-15/16s and two with the U-17/18s.
Jamaican-born forward Michael Seaton is one of MLS's top teenage prospects, while midfielder Collin Martin played with Robinson at Wake Forest. The other D.C. homegrown players are defenders Conor Shanosky and Ethan White.