- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2002

D.C. United's hole at right back apparently has been filled with yesterday's acquisition of Honduran national team defender Milton Reyes.

Major League Soccer sources said Reyes, 27, signed a four-year contract worth $150,000 a season. Several unidentified United players volunteered to have their contracts restructured so that Reyes would fit under the league's stringent $1.7 million salary cap.

Reyes will report Monday, train with the team Tuesday and start in Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions Cup game against Guatemalan club Comunicaciones at RFK Stadium. United was defeated by Comunicaciones 4-0 Wednesday night in Guatemala.

"[Reyes is] a tremendous acquisition to the long-term and will have an immediate impact," United coach Ray Hudson said. "He's the complete package. He's very versatile, dynamic and very tricky with his length play."

An aggressive defender, Reyes is said to have the ability to go forward and become a weapon in attack. Nicknamed "Jocon," he is known for his tireless work on the right flank. He is a tough tackler and good in the air patrolling the defensive third.

United had been pursuing Reyes since last season. Hudson said he discovered Reyes when he coached the Miami Fusion (2000, 2001) during an offseason scouting mission to see Honduran forward Alex Pineda Chacon, the leading goal scorer (19) in MLS last season.

Reyes is married to a U.S. citizen, has a green card and does not count as one of United's three senior internationals.

Reyes is a mainstay on the Honduran national team with 32 caps. He participated in Honduras' failed qualifying attempt for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.

Reyes comes to United from Honduran club CD Motagua, where he was a fixture in the back for five years.

"He fits a specific need and is too good to turn down," Hudson said. "He even looks like a star."


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