After weeks of flirting, D.C. United really does like Rob Vincent and they decided to go steady. Vincent will be the third Riverhound to join D.C. United over the past decade, and the second to jump to MLS this offseason.
As supporters it’s a case of mixed emotions. Mostly we’re super happy for Rob. He’s a force on the field and a great guy off it. It’s been awesome to watch him start his professional career in Pittsburgh, and after a lot of hard work being able to make the jump to the next level. Even better it’s to a historic club (in the US soccer world anyways). He may not be on D.C. United’s first team right away, but we’re sure he’s going to kick ass and get there sooner rather than later. We’re looking forward to seeing Rob in MLS and on national TV.
On the other hand we’re bummed Rob is gone. It goes without saying losing one of your key offensive players isn’t great. He leaves a big hole in the midfield that hopefully one of the new guys can fill. Besides the loss of raw scoring ability we’re also losing the chemistry he developed with other players. There’s been a lot of turn over this offseason and a lot of ground that needs to be made up in that department.
The sum of all fears in this transfer is Rob getting loaned to the Richmond Kickers, or the Hounds playing D.C. United in the U.S. Open Cup again. I’m not sure if we can handle that existential crisis of playing against him.
Since Rob was still under contract with the Hounds some sort of compensation agreement was reached between the two clubs. Even though we think he’s worth it, it probably wasn’t in the millions, but it should still be a nice chunk of change. The question is what do the Hounds do with it? The team isn’t that far removed from bankruptcy, are there bills to pay? Do they use it to sign someone? Spin it into a friendly with a bigger club? Do they throw an intergalactic kegger? Who knows! This isn’t exactly a common occurrence for the club. It’ll be interesting to see what if anything tangible comes from the transfer.
The Hounds put together a nice video to mark the occasion-
Rob himself even penned a letter to the fans. We pulled out the important part to our egos-
I would like to thank the fans, in particular the Steel Army, for their phenomenal support during my time at the Hounds. It’s been a privilege for me to play a part in some memorable occasions that will live long in the minds of Pittsburgh soccer fans. I was honored to receive the Steel Army Player of the Year award last season and I’ll never forget seeing the fans raising a banner with my jersey on it ahead of our Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game against D.C. United.
Once again congratulations and good luck Rob! We look forward to following you on your journey.