As the first half of the 2011 MLS season unfolded, it became clear that D.C. United needed to fill voids on their roster if the club wanted to emerge from the middle of the Eastern Conference pack and contend for an MLS Cup.
D.C. United acquired veteran playmaker Dwayne De Rosario from the New York Red Bulls for midfielder Dax McCarty, one of two trades swung by the club on Monday.
Charlie Davies' 25th birthday Saturday ended up being bittersweet.
Dax McCarty's first three months in a D.C. United uniform haven't exactly gone according to plan.
When D.C. United defender Jed Zayner tore the ACL, MCL and PCL ligaments in his left knee early in his rookie season with the Columbus Crew, he was faced with an injury so severe it left him one more knee problem away from almost certainly ending his career.
Perry Kitchen stood in the D.C. United locker room Saturday night shaking his head in disbelief.
By the time Blake Brettschneider found out he would be kicking off his professional soccer career with D.C. United, the University of South Carolina product had endured waiting through five rounds and 75 picks over the course of two separate drafts.
Exhibition games don't really count for much - not like league games. But these friendly games are sometimes a chance for a rookie player to show off his skills and make some memories.
The confidence is back, and he no longer is hurting. D.C. United attacking midfielder Chris Pontius finally is where he wants to be, running at opposing players and stamping his mark on games.