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San Jose Earthquakes trade Brandon McDonald to D.C. United for allocation money

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The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the team has sent defender Brandon McDonald to D.C. United for an undisclosed amount of allocation money. McDonald began his career in MLS in 2008, originally with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and has been a member of the Earthquakes since the start of the 2009 season. According to information from the Major League Soccer Players Association, McDonald has been earning the league minimum salary in each of his four seasons as a professional. McDonald is in the last year of his current deal and has stated in the past his intentions to seek a pay raise in his next contract.

McDonald played in 58 games for the Quakes, primarily as a central defender in partnership with Jason Hernandez. Earlier this season, with the team struggling to collect points, McDonald lost his starting spot to defender Bobby Burling, and he has made only two appearances in the last month with the first team. With second-year defender Ike Opara out injured, McDonald was the first choice back-up at central defender, but has sunk to fourth choice overall at that position. He goes to a D.C. United team that has relied heavily on rookie defenders so far in 2011, and could feature immediately in coach Ben Olsen’s plans for the Red-and-Black.

Key the deal for the Earthquakes was the exchange of allocation money in the deal. Not only does San Jose save McDonald’s salary number against the team’s salary budget, but the addition of allocation money makes the deal worth even more to a team that has little room to make summer signings. With rosters spots available, the combination of salary cap space and allocation money opens up the possibility of general manager John Doyle being able to sign higher priced players. The summer transfer window opens up on July 15, and the team has made it known they would like to find some attacking depth in the midfield.