D.C. United parts with 'keeper Wicks

Former starter released after injury trouble, dip in form

Having begun so auspiciously last March, Josh Wicks’ tenurewith D.C. United ended quietly on Friday as the club released him before he’dspent a day with the squad this season.

The former LA Galaxy goalkeeper was brought in during the2009 preseason as cover for injured starter Louis Crayton, but Wicks impressedthe coaching staff enough to earn the No. 1 job and went on to become the team’smost-used netminder during a campaign plagued by high turnover in the nets.

“We would like to thank Josh for his contributionsto D.C. United and wish him the best of luck in the future,” said Unitedgeneral manager Dave Kasper in a press release.

Wicks brought commanding size and nimble shot-stoppingskills to the D.C. goal and, with the back line often in flux, he was calledinto action regularly, facing 104 shots in 19 starts and making 78 saves.

But his judgment and maturity deserted him on occasion, mostnotably when he was sent off in the U.S. Open Cup final at RFK Stadium for stompingon Seattle striker Fredy Montero. The Sounders went on to win the match andclaim the trophy on United’s home field.

Nonetheless, United’s late charge for a playoff berth took amajor hit when Wicks sustained a double injury against San Jose last September,with knee and shoulder damage sentencing him to surgery and six months ofrecovery.

At the close of a disappointing campaign for the club,United moved on and Wicks became peripheral to United’s plans once Troy Perkinsreturned from Europe and rejoined the Black-and-Red in January.

Wicks spent most of 2010 rehabbing in his native Californiaand logged little to no time with Curt Onalfo’s squad this season, though hepreviously played for USL-1’s Portland Timbers. Rumors suggest he may seek a returnto the second division once he returns to fitness.