Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
United’s defense is staying largely intact for 2020
D.C. United announced today that defender Frederic Brillant has signed a new contract. First reported by the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, the deal runs through the 2021 season. It’s the second day in a row that a key defensive starter from 2019 has been retained for next year, with Bill Hamid being the first yesterday.
Acquired from New York City FC before the 2018 season, Brillant made $265,000 in base salary ($300,000 in guaranteed money) in 2019, a year where he had personal bests in goals and assists (2 each), and started all 34 games while playing almost 3,000 minutes. Brillant led the league in blocks (34) and clearances (210) and finished second to his teammate Steven Birnbaum in headed clearances (96).
For United, Brillant and Birnbaum being locked down for next year was an important step for a defense that allowed the second fewest goals (37) in MLS. Brillant turns 35 in June, but showed no signs of slowing down this past year. Still, homegrown center back Donovan Pines will continue to be, at worst, strong competition for his spot in the lineup. United now has 18 players under contract for next season, with 14 of those counting towards the salary budget.
Welcome back Fred!