Christian Gomez returns to D.C. United

Washington, D.C. (February 9, 2009) – D.C. United today announced former MLS MVP Christian Gomez is set to return to D.C. for his second stint with the club. United has acquired the midfielder, goalkeeper Mike Graczyk, an international roster spot and salary cap considerations from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for midfielder/defender Ivan Guerrero, a Designated Player roster spot and a second round 2010 SuperDraft pick. Gomez will likely first be available to the media at United’s training session on Friday morning at the RFK Stadium Training Complex.

“We're very pleased that Christian is rejoining D.C. United,” said United President and CEO Kevin Payne. “He brings unique qualities to our team and he understands the culture of our club. We believe he makes us better able to again compete for the MLS Cup.”

“I am extremely happy to return to D.C. United, as is my family – my wife, my kids and my family in the D.C. area. We are excited to be back in the Capital,” said Gomez. “ I am coming into the team to contribute and do everything possible as a member of the team to bring the club back to where it belongs – winning championships. I realize how important the fans are to the club and what their expectations are and I hope to make them happy.”

“Christian is a consummate professional on the field and in our locker room and we again look forward to his contributions to our club,” added United General Manager Dave Kasper. “We are thrilled that Christian is returning to D.C. United.”

Gomez began his MLS career with D.C. United in August of 2004. The midfielder provided an offensive spark during the final stretch of the regular season and helped lead the club to its fourth MLS Cup title. His second year in the Nation’s Capital was an impressive one, as the Argentine recorded 11 goals and nine assists in 31 games (30 starts). His performance garnered All-Star and MLS Best XI honors.

Gomez’s best MLS season came in 2006, when he led the team with 14 goals and 11 assists. His play that season was rewarded with League MVP honors and a spot on the MLS Best XI for the second time. In 2007, Gomez started in each of the 27 MLS games in which he appeared, totaling 10 goals and nine assists on the campaign. The Argentine midfielder finished the season earning a third consecutive spot in the All-Star game and on the year-end MLS Best XI side. During a single season in Colorado last year, Gomez saw time in 20 games (17 starts), tallying three goals and six assists for the Rapids.

Gomez started his professional soccer career at the age of 17 with Nueva Chicago, of the Argentine Second Division. The attacking midfielder netted 46 goals for the club from 1991-1996. In 1997, he joined First Division powerhouse Independiente, where he struck for 12 goals in 80 appearances. He then spent time with Argentinos Juniors before revisiting Nueva Chicago in 2000 and helping the club earn promotion to the First Division. He then rejoined Independiente for a short stretch, scoring a single goal in 10 appearances before moving to Arsenal (Argentina). While at Arsenal, he made 30 appearances, totaling six goals for the Argentine Gunners.

Graczyk was originally drafted by the Rapids in the second round (19th overall) of the 2007 MLS Supplemental draft. He spent last year as a member of the League’s goalkeeper pool. During his time at the University of New Mexico (2003-07), he was a three-year starter and finished his career with a goals-against average of 0.67, the lowest in school history. He was a three-time All-MPSF selection and ranked in the top 25 in the nation in GAA in each of the last three seasons. His 30 career shutouts were a school record.

Ivan Guerrero leaves United after joining the Black-and-Red on July 31 of last year. He began the year with the San Jose Earthquakes after being picked in the 2007 Expansion Draft. The Honduran started 13 of 14 games and tallied a goal before being acquired mid-season by D.C. United. Just two days after joining the Black-and-Red, Guerrero was thrust into the starting lineup against the Kansas City Wizards, notching an assist in United’s 2-0 win. He went on to start in each of the 13 League games he played in, tallying four assists. In other competitions, Guerrero saw time in four games (all starts).

“We want to thank Ivan for being part of D.C. United, and we wish him the best of luck in the future,” said Kasper.

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