D.C. United dips into Venezuelan market for Junior Moreno

D.C. United became the latest MLS club to dip into the Venezuelan player market for reinforcements as it signed international midfielder Junior Moreno on a permanent transfer from Zulia FC.

At only 24, Moreno captained Zulia FC. After making his international debut against the USA in June, Moreno then played in five of Venezuela’s remaining seven games in 2017, including three World Cup qualifiers.

Moreno's Argentine father, Carlos Horacio Moreno, coaches Portuguesa FC in Venezuela.

He is the second midfielder United has acquired in the offseason. It purchased Costa Rican Ulises Segura from Saprissa.

Venezuelan pipeline. Following the success of Venezuelan U-20 star Yangel Herrera (NYCFC), MLS Best XI forward Josef Martinez (Atlanta United) and Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake) in 2017, Venezuela has become an attractive market for MLS teams.

Vancouver signed Anthony Blondell, the top scorer (23 goals) in the 2017 Primera Division with Monagas, and Atlanta United acquired Venezuela U-20 left back Jose Hernandez from Caracas FC.

D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper:
“Junior has established himself in the Venezuelan National Team because of his physical presence and ability to connect the game in the midfield. He is adept at reading the game, making quick transitions on both sides of the ball, and he will provide us with tactical flexibility with his ability to play both holding and central box-to-box midfield positions. Junior is arriving at a great age with international experience in both World Cup qualification and the Copa Libertadores, and we look forward to his future with our club."

D.C. United:
IN: Frederic Brillant (New York City FC, trade), Darren Mattocks (Portland Timbers, trade), Ulises Segura (Saprissa/CRC, transfer), Gonzalo Veron (NY Red Bulls II, Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2), Junior Moreno (Zulia/VEN, transfer).
OUT:
Bill Hamid (FC Midtjylland/DEN, free), Chris Rolfe (retired), Deshorn Brown, Julian Buescher, Sean Franklin, Eric Klenofsky, Chris Korb, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Lloyd Sam, Rob Vincent, Patrick Nyarko, Marcelo Sarvas.
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2018 Roster:
Goalkeepers:
Steve Clark, Travis Worra.
Defenders: Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Taylor Kemp, Kofi Opare, Jalen Robinson.
Midfielders: Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola, Russell Canouse, Nick DeLeon, Chris Durkin, Ian Harkes, Jared Jeffrey, Junior Moreno, Ulises Segura, Zoltan Stieber.
Forwards: Darren Mattocks, Bruno Miranda, Patrick Mullins.
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