Will Dominique Badji Be D.C. United's Attacking Savior?

Will the MLS veteran, Dominique Badji, change the fate of D.C. United?
New York Red Bulls v FC Cincinnati
New York Red Bulls v FC Cincinnati / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

D.C. United's latest signing is none other than Dominique Badji. You've probably heard of this striker who's played for several clubs in Major League Soccer. Let's be honest, signing a 31-year-old who was playing in Turkey's second division isn't exactly a move that makes everyone jump for joy, right?

Ally Mackay, the club's general manager and head of soccer operations, didn't hold back on the praise for their new addition. "We’re thrilled to add an MLS veteran to our attacking core. Dom is a striker with elite speed and has a game reading ability that puts him in good positions to score goals," said Mackay. Sounds great, huh? But is all this excitement really justified?

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Dominique Badji is no rookie. With 43 goals and 23 assists in 205 MLS matches, he’s shown he knows how to find the net. And it’s not just that; he helped FC Cincinnati win the Supporters’ Shield in 2023 before taking a brief stint in Turkey. You can’t deny he’s got experience and has played for some big teams like Colorado Rapids, Nashville SC, and FC Dallas. The question is: does he still have the spark to make a difference?

D.C. United is in a tough spot, let’s be honest. With 4 wins, 10 losses, and 8 draws, sitting in 15th place in the Eastern Conference, the team needs a miracle. And it’s been a while since the fans had much to celebrate; the club hasn’t seen the MLS playoffs since 2019. Badji's arrival is definitely a gamble. But is it the right gamble?

The hope is that Badji, along with Christian Benteke and Jacob Murrell, will bring new energy to the team’s attack. “Dom will add a different dimension moving forward and, ultimately, help create more chances for us in the final third,” said Mackay.

The MLS secondary transfer window opens on July 18, and that’s when Badji can make his debut. Until then, the anticipation only grows. Will he be able to quickly gel with the team? Will his experience be the game-changer that D.C. United desperately needs?

Head coach Troy Lesesne, in his first year leading D.C. United, also faces a huge challenge. Motivating a team that’s been struggling isn’t easy, and Badji’s arrival could be either a blessing or a curse. If the striker steps up and shows his worth, Lesesne will gain a powerful ally. If not, the pressure will only mount.

Talking about Dominique Badji means talking about a career full of ups and downs. He’s a player who’s proven his worth but also had his moments of uncertainty. And it’s exactly this duality that makes his signing so intriguing.

The truth is, D.C. United is putting all its chips on a player who’s shown he can be decisive but also carries the weight of doubt. Dominique Badji arrives not just as a striker; he arrives as a beacon of hope, a new possibility in a scenario that, so far, has been one of disillusionment.