IMAGE: Russell nick training

Relationships have Canouse “really excited” to be at United

When Russell Canouse, 22, arrived at RFK Stadium after his transfer from German side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, the first person the Lancaster, Pennsylvania native saw was former high school teammate and current United keeper Travis Worra.

“As soon as I got here in the locker room, he was the first one, surprisingly,” he said. “I probably stood there for about an hour and caught up with him. It’s been a while. He said he hasn’t been back to Lancaster in a bit, but we caught up on the high school days.”

Then he found out that United had acquired former U.S. youth national team teammate Paul Arriola, a player with whom Canouse has a “special, long relationship.”

Canouse (bottom row, #6) with Arriola (bottom left, #7) and United rookie defender Chris Odoi-Atsem (bottom right, #13)

“As soon as I heard he was coming, it was pretty special and I got really excited,” he said. “It’s good to have him here. Paul is a great addition to the club who will fight for the team. I think everyone is happy to have him.”

These relationships, and a little nostalgia, helped Canouse make the decision to return to the United States. He clearly remembers coming to watch D.C. United games at RFK Stadium with his father as a child.

“I remember going and seeing Ben [Olsen] as a player,” he said. “So, coming back, standing out there in the stadium, having my first interview and being able to walk out on the field was pretty special.”

But above all, the Pennsylvania native is excited about the future of the club, a future that he and his new teammates are ready to fight for.

“Bringing in some young players brings, I think, a hunger to the team,” he said. “Me personally, I want to come in and give my best and fight. I think it’s pretty special for everyone coming in now, when we have the opportunity to be part of the tradition in RFK and then transition to Audi Field. I think everyone seems hungry to go and everyone wants to keep working hard and finish the season out strong.”