The Insider has learned from two sources that DCU is in the process of finalizing a trade for Houston defender Julius James. United would likely relinquish a draft pick. An announcement is possible later today.
James, 25, is a central defender from Trinidad and Tobago via the University of Connecticut who was a first-round draft pick for Toronto in 2008. He was sent to Houston this past offseason as part of the Dwayne De Rosario trade. After making 10 starts last year, he has made five starts and eight appearances for the Dynamo and was on loan with Minnesota in USL1 for two games.
With two players on trial in United camp, expect more moves in the coming weeks as the club prepares for a grueling stretch of games in MLS and Champions League plus the U.S. Open Cup final.
The club confirmed the Insider's exclusive report that defender Julius James has been acquired from Houston, apparently for a draft pick. [UPDATE: a third-rounder in 2012] He will join United in Toronto and likely be eligible for Saturday afternoon's match at BMO Field (4 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, Telefutura). James is a needed defensive option as United prepares for 10 matches in 31 days.
"I don't think he has reached his potential, so we are excited to get him in and add some defensive depth," Coach Tom Soehn said. "Initially, our plan is that he will cover for us in the middle and on the flank if we need him."
DC United acquire defender Julius James
D.C. United Media Relations
D.C. United announced Friday the club has acquired defender Julius James from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for a third round pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. James will serve as a replacement for forward Ange N'Silu, who has been placed on Injured Reserve.
"Julius is a big, athletic defender who will help us at several positions in our back line," said General Manager Dave Kasper. "He has a bright future and we look forward to getting him on board as we enter the final phase of our season."
This season, as a member of the Dynamo, James saw time in eight games (five starts), totaling 508 minutes on the pitch. The defender was acquired by Houston from Toronto FC - along with allocation money - for midfielder Dwayne DeRosario on December 12, 2008. During his rookie season with Toronto FC in 2008, James played in 13 games (10 starts) and scored one goal in 899 minutes on the field. In his MLS debut on May 31, 2008, he scored in the 49th minute against the Los Angeles Galaxy, a goal that was the eventual game-winner. James was the ninth overall selection in the 2008 SuperDraft out of the University of Connecticut.
At Connecticut, James earned First Team All-Northeast and First Team All-Big East honors. Additionally, he was named to the Big East All-Tournament Team and won Big East Defensive Player of the Year three years in a row. He was also a M.A.C. Herman Trophy semifinalist in 2007.
James is a Trinidad & Tobago native and member of its national team. He earned his first cap against Guyana on September 3, 2008.
Ange N'Silu was originally signed on February 23, 2009. He played in nine League games (four starts) and tallied a goal and an assist before suffering an injury. In all competitions, N'Silu has played in 14 games (nine starts), scoring two goals and an assist. He suffered a hamstring strain after United's Open Cup semifinal win on 7/21.
Name: Julius James
Pronunciation: Joo-lee-es jayms
Height: 6-0 Weight: 180 Jersey: 2 Date of Birth: July 9, 1984
Hometown: Maloney Gardens, Trinidad
Citizenship: Trinidad & Tobago
Last Club: Houston Dynamo
Roster status: Senior roster
Acquired: Acquired for a third round pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on August 14, 2009