D.C. United releases Marcelo Gallardo

Washington, D.C. (January 30, 2009) – D.C. United announced today midfielder Marcelo Gallardo has been granted a release from his contract with the club. The Argentine midfielder requested the release, citing his desire to continue his playing career in his home country. Last season, Gallardo scored four goals and recorded three assists in League play, though injuries limited him to just 15 League games (14 starts).

“We have agreed to release Marcelo from his contract, per his request,” said United General Manager Dave Kasper. “While we are disappointed, we understand his desire to return to his home country. He has been and remains a world class talent and we wish him the best of luck as he enters the next stage of his career.”

Gallardo became D.C. United’s first Designated Player when he signed with the club on January 29, 2008. In his only season with United, the midfielder struggled with injuries, initially being sidelined for two months over the summer because of a sports hernia – which required surgery – and then being ruled out for an additional month due to a strained adductor muscle. During his comeback game against Chivas USA on October 4, he suffered a knee injury and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. In all competitions, Gallardo played in 20 games (19 starts), tallying four goals and four assists.