Donovan Pines has been rewarded for his impressive performances in his rookie season by being called up by head coach Jason Kreis for the United States U-23 National Team for the upcoming friendly against Japan. Head coach Ben Olsen has utilized the 21-year-old in the middle of a back three on multiple occasions this season.
After playing three seasons for the University of Maryland, Pines was signed to a homegrown contract in January 2019. While in college, Pines earned a number of honors including Big Ten All-Freshman Team (2016), All-Big Ten First Team (2018), and Second Team All-American (2018). In 2018 Pines led the Terrapins to their fourth NCAA championship recording a clean sheet in the final against the University of Akron. After the tournament, Pines was named to the 2018 College Cup All-Tournament Team.
Following his success at the collegiate level, Pines has continued to progress in MLS. Pines made his debut for the Black-and-Red in the 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids on April 13. The University of Maryland product started and played 90 minutes, providing an assist for Luciano Acosta’s goal in the 35th minute. In his second match, Pines followed up his impressive debut by helping United secure a win over Columbus on April 24. The towering defender showcased his defensive instincts as he recorded nine clearances in the match while helping D.C. United to a clean sheet.
Standing at six-feet-five-inches, Pines is able to use his size and physicality to consistently shut down the opposition. In the ten matches Pines has played for with D.C. United, the Black-and-Red have a record of 4-4-2. The Maryland native has contributed to two clean sheets while making 16 tackles and 17 interceptions. Despite making only 10 appearances, Pines is third on the team with 58 clearances. He is also a proven threat in the air on attacking set pieces and had a goal controversially disallowed against Minnesota United on April 28.
Head coach Ben Olsen placed his trust in the young defender and Pines has rewarded that trust by stringing together a series of impressive performances.. At just 21-years-old, Pines has shown the maturity and poise needed to be a successful center back in MLS. Fans should be delighted to see the progression of yet another Homegrown player donning the Black-and-Red.