D.C. United made its first player acquisition of the offseason, picking up veteran midfielder John Thorrington in the second stage of the MLS re-entry draft.
Thorrington, 33, has spent the last two years with Vancouver, which made him an expansion pick following six seasons with Chicago. He’s played a variety of midfield positions but had his best success as a two-way central midfielder with the Fire. He made 19 regular season appearances (14 starts) for the Whitecaps last season, finishing the year with one assist.
Thorrington earned $170,000 last season and then had the option on his contract declined by Vancouver. Reports say there were unsuccessful negotiations on a new deal with the Whitecaps.
Through the re-entry process, D.C. United now has the rights to negotiate with Thorrington. This is the official line from MLS: “If a player is not under contract, the drafting club will be required to make a genuine offer to the player within seven days. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached between the drafting club and an out-of-contract player, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS.”
“He’s another veteran player that can help bring our young group along,” United general manager Dave Kasper said. “He’s got a tremendous amount of experience, and he’s a good fit so we’re hoping we can get something going with him to get him here. Now we’ve got to go through that process of trying to make that happen.”
Born in South Africa and raised in Southern California, Thorrington began his career with Manchester United as a teenager then played in the lower divisions in England, mostly with Huddersfield Town. He also has four career appearances with the U.S. men’s national team.