A past MLS MVP and former captain of his country’s national team, Carlos Ruiz became the first-ever Guatemalan player to sign with D.C. United on Feb. 20, 2012. Although perhaps not the first from their countries to wear the Black-and-Red, many other United players are also foreign-born.
United center back Dejan Jakovic was born in Croatia, moved to Canada, and now plays for the Canadian National Team. Lewis Neal was born and raised in Leicester, England. Neal played professionally in England until coming stateside to play with NASL side Orlando City S.C. Three Black-and-Red teammates hail from Brazil—Marcelo Saragosa from Campo Grande, Raphael Augusto from Rio de Janerio, and young Designated Player Raphael from Àuga Boa, Mias Gerais (a Brazilian State). Also from South America is United forward Lionard Pajoy, hailing from Norte de Santander, Colombia. D.C. defender Robbie Russell was born in Accra, Ghana and lived on four different continents (Africa, Asia, North America and Europe) before his family settled in Amherst, Massachusetts. Recently acquired John Thorrington was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and then moved to Los Angeles, California before signing with England’s Manchester United. United’s newest Homegrown Player Michael Seaton, 16, hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica and represented his country in the CFU U-17 FIFA World Cup. Another new addition to the Black-and-Red, Syamsir Alam comes to D.C. from Jakarta Indonesia. In total, 11 United players come from other countries before arriving in the nation’s capital to put on the Black-and-Red.