WASHINGTON – Many D.C. United players face an uncertain fate this offseason as the club prepares for another round of rebuilding under a new head coach, but few more so than midfielder Kurt Morsink.
The Costa Rican says he’d like to stay in DC and contribute to next year’s side. But his MLS contract is up and after United’s historically poor 2010 campaign, he and most of his teammates have few guarantees that the yet-to-be-named incoming boss will have a place for them in the squad.
A decade ago, Morsink watched United take on Costa Rican club CD Alajuelense in a CONCACAF Champions' Cup match in his native San José, and later starred in college at James Madison University, a few hours southwest of DC. He calls United his “dream club” and admits being disinclined to leave the nation’s capital.
“Ever since they came to Costa Rica [in Champions' Cup in 2000], it’s been my dream to play for the team,” said Morsink, who arrived in DC from Kansas City last March as one of Curt Onalfo’s first acquisitions.
Since then, the 26-year-old worked hard, but usually for little reward, in the engine room of the league’s last-placed squad this season. Clyde Simms’ injury woes forced him to carry much of the defensive midfield burden for long periods, and the team’s poor overall results may offer little to impress whoever takes the manager’s job in 2011.
Those factors are forcing Morsink to contemplate the possibility of a new destination after four years in the league.
“In this profession, you’re kind of on the go,” Morsink said. “So I’d love to explore a couple options in Europe and South America. But if I do stay in MLS, I’d love for it to be with D.C. United.
“[Club president] Kevin Payne is an unbelievable person. He’s treated me with the utmost respect. He’s given me a chance – he’s a class act. Same with [general manager] Dave Kasper. [Ben Olsen] has done a great job stepping in. Chad [Ashton] has been unbelievable. D.C. United is a class-act organization and they should be rewarded with a cup every year.
“It’s different here. They do things right and they deserve a lot more than what we gave them, and so do the fans.”