Courtesy Loudoun United FC
D.C.’s third keeper gets the treatment.
In the past, D.C. United looked at the third goalkeeper as an afterthought; past names for the position included a guy signed from a trial (Travis Worra), even a guy who had his mother call Dave Kasper and ask for a look (Jose Carvallo). Only Joe Willis was a guy who managed to evolve into a candidate for some playing time, and even then was a late third round MLS SuperDraft pick.
Which is what makes the tale of Earl Edwards Jr. and D.C. United all the more interesting. D.C. was willing to part with a second-round draft pick in the 2019 draft to Orlando City SC for Edwards in mid-December; three weeks later the team acquired Chris Seitz from the Houston Dynamo, and the battle for the backup to Bill Hamid was won by Seitz, thus Edwards spent his 2019 season with Loudoun United.
Loudoun was a bit of a shooting gallery early on, and finished the year with 65 conceded goals, tied for eighth worst in the USL Championship (9 of the Bottom 10 teams in the category were MLS2 teams, as a note). Edwards and Loudoun contracted pro Calle Brown essentially split the starting minutes; Edwards played 16 games and conceded 29 goals, Brown played 15 and gave up 30. Save percentage was also essentially a push (68.8% for Brown, 67% for Edwards), though Edwards had 3 of the team’s 4 clean sheets in its inaugural season. Edwards tends to be more active in his area and willing to come out to play a ball or clear it out altogether.
Edwards was a senior minimum deal ($70,250) for 2019, and had his option declined, but his name was withdrawn from Phase 1 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, so perhaps he and D.C. have come to an agreement on a new deal. D.C. made the attempt to offer an asset in order to acquire Edwards (28 in January) ahead of the 2018 Re-Entry Draft (where Edwards was on Orlando’s list) and appears to be happy with his performance, but the question is does he return with a more solid shot to be the backup?
But hey, this is why you’re here: