Busy United adds Mattocks and Brillant, re-signs Clark

The worst team in MLS last season has jumped right into the process of rebuilding for 2018.

After leading the league with 20 losses and posting the poorest goal difference of minus-29, D.C. United has added Jamaican forward Darren Mattocks and French centerback Felix Brillant in trades, and negotiated a new deal for American goalkeeper Steve Clark.

United sent two 2018 international roster slots – one per deal -- to get Mattocks from Portland and Brillant from New York City FC, which also received $75,000 in General Allocation Money. Mattocks, 27, started his MLS career with Vancouver as a 2012 MLS SuperDraft pick out of the University of Akron, and the 32-year-old Brilliant had played two seasons for NYCFC, which declined his option.

In four seasons with the Whitecaps Mattocks scored 19 goals and logged six assists in 93 appearances. In March 2016 Vancouver received General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, and an international roster slot in exchange for Mattocks, who scored five goals and registered five assists in 43 games for the Timbers. The club declined his option, the terms of which United picked up in the deal.

Playing in MLS earned Mattocks a callup to the Jamaican national team, for which he has scored 12 goals in 31 appearances. He nailed three goals for the Reggae Boyz last summer during their run to the Concacaf Gold Cup final, in which they lost to the USA, 2-1.

“We are thrilled to add an attacking player who unbalances opposing defenses with his speed, willingness to get into dangerous areas, and ability to score goals,” said general manager Dave Kasper in a team statement. “We believe Darren's best football is ahead of him as he enters the prime of his career, and we welcome him to the Black-and-Red.”

Brillant played 54 regular-season games and four playoff matches for NYCFC during the past two seasons. He came to MLS after six seasons in the Belgian first division with Beerschot and Oostende. “One of our top priorities this offseason was acquiring an experienced central defender and we are very pleased to complete this transfer,” said Kasper. Frederic is a smart, athletic defender who is a very good passer. His size, speed and presence will strengthen our backline next season and we are excited to welcome him to D.C.”

Clark, 31, played five games for United in 2017 after coming back to MLS on a free transfer from Danish club AC Horsens, which he joined Jan. 17 after starting all but two regular-season games for Columbus from 2014 to 2016. He backstopped its run to the 2015 MLS Cup Final that it lost to a Portland team that included Mattocks. In his 107 games for Crew SC Clark posted 22 shutouts.

Clark has signed a contract extension and will challenge for the starting keeper job in place of Bill Hamid, who has left United to sign with another Danish club, FC Midtjylland. Hamid began his pro career with United in 2010 and started 176 regular-season games and nine playoff matches from 2011 to 2017.
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