WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 12, 2023) - D.C. United have acquired defender Aaron Herrera from CF Montréal in exchange for defender Ruan and $500,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM).
“We are excited to welcome Aaron to D.C. United and we are thrilled to be securing an elite and proven defender in this league,” Ally Mackay, D.C. United General Manager and Chief Soccer Officer, said. “Aaron has been one of the top fullbacks in MLS over the last couple of seasons and we think his style of play aligns with our philosophy and will significantly bolster our roster in that position. He has the defensive intuition combined with a desire to go forward and create goal scoring opportunities. We believe he will be a huge success in the District and we’re excited to integrate him with the team.”
Herrera joins the Black-and-Red after spending the 2023 season with CF Montréal. Last year, Herrera recorded two assists in 23 appearances across all competitions. The defender made his debut for CF Montréal against Inter Miami CF on Feb. 25, 2023. He recorded his first assist for the club on April 29, 2023 in a 2-0 win against Sporting Kansas City. Herrera finished the season fourth on CF Montréal with 21 tackles in 19 MLS appearances (16 starts) and created 18 chances going forward.
The 26-year old defender started his professional career after signing a Homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake on Dec. 15, 2017. Herrera would make his MLS debut on May 26, 2018 in a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC. He recorded his first assist for Real Salt Lake on July 3, 2019 helping them to a 1-0 league win over the Columbus Crew. Herrera finished the 2019 season with four assists in 34 matches played (33 starts) and was ranked seventh in MLS with 57 interceptions. During the 2020 season, Herrera started all 20 MLS matches and finished 10th in the league with 33 tackles won. In 2021, Herrera had a breakout season where he finished fifth in MLS with 11 assists and third with 29 crosses into the penalty area. In 29 starts, Herrera scored one goal and recorded a team high 11 assists, helping Real Salt Lake reach the Western Conference Finals. During his time with Real Salt Lake, Herrera played a total of 132 matches (127 starts), scoring one goal and recording 19 assists while becoming the second Real Salt Lake Homegrown player to reach 100 career MLS appearances.
Following his impressive performances for Real Salt Lake, the defender made his U.S. Men’s National Team senior debut on Feb.1 2021, in a 7-0 international friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago before switching national team allegiance to Guatemala. Herrera would make his debut for Guatemala in a 1-0 international friendly win over Costa Rica on June 15, 2023. In total, Herrera has appeared in six matches for the Guatemalan national team.
Prior to signing a Homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake, the New Mexico native spent three years at the University of New Mexico in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Herrera led the team in goals and assists his Junior year while also playing 11 matches for the U.S. Youth National Team U-20 team. He was also a part of the U-23 USYNT roster that competed in the 2020 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Ruan joined the Black-and-Red after being acquired from Orlando City SC via trade on Dec. 21, 2022. He spent four seasons with Orlando City SC from 2019-2022 scoring four goals and recording 12 assists in 118 matches across all competitions. Ruan made his D.C. United debut on March 11, 2023 in a 1-1 draw against his former club Orlando City SC. The Brazilian recorded his first assist for the Black-and-Red two matches later on March 25, 2023 in a 2-1 loss against the New England Revolution. This season, Ruan recorded six assists, had eighteen crosses, and a 77.4% passing accuracy in 24 MLS matches (15 starts). Ruan was also featured in three Leagues Cup matches and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches.
Birthplace: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Country: Guatemala/United States
Weight: 157 lbs
Transaction: D.C. United acquire defender Aaron Herrera from CF Montréal in exchange for $500,000 in General Allocation Money and defender Ruan.