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DC has choices with third pick

Head coach Olsen not dismissing idea of trading down for veteran

WASHINGTON – The offseason renovation of D.C. United turns another page on Thursday with the 2011 MLS SuperDraft — and a couple of moves made this week indicate where United may look when their No. 3 overall pick comes up.

Forward Adam Cristman was traded to the LA Galaxy on Tuesday, and though he was never going to play a prominent role in 2011, he leaves the club with only two out-and-out forwards on the current roster.

That move, plus the addition of defender Rodrigo Brasesco from Uruguay, means that an attacker is the biggest need for a team that scored a league-low 21 goals in 2010.

But who could that be? It could come down to two Generation adidas options in forwards Corey Hertzog (Penn State) and Will Bruin (Indiana). Both are departing school after strong junior years.

While Hertzog finished the college season as the nation’s leading scorer with 20 goals, Bruin may be the more MLS-ready player. Standing at 6-foot-2, 192 pounds, he is an impressive physical specimen with good speed for a player of his size. He certainly would be able to mix it up with the physical nature of MLS while also creating space for a strike partners like Josh Wolff or Joseph Ngwenya.

On the other hand, Hertzog has proved to be the more clinical finisher, but doesn’t quite have the target mold that Bruin does.

Both took part in the 2011 MLS Combine over the weekend, where head coach Ben Olsen was joined by assistant coaches Chad Ashton and Pat Onstad, along with general manager Dave Kasper in evaluating the two strikers.

Selecting a defender is also an option . . .

Of course, should defenders Perry Kitchen, Kofi Sarkodie or Zarek Valentin (all from Akron) still be on the board when the third pick comes along, there’s every reason to believe D.C. United would jump at the chance to bring in one of those talented defenders.

Or maybe a trade?

Another option would be to trade down, perhaps by adding a player already in the league or acquiring some allocation money while moving to a lower spot in the first round. Olsen, though, appears hesitant to do that.

"We'll listen to anybody, but I think there are some players out there,” he told The Washington Post. "I'm not excited to give up that pick, but we'll listen."

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