D.C. United waited and watched as eight rounds of the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft passed without alert or concern. It wasn't until the ninth round of the two-team draft that United learned that rookie defender Jordan Graye would be packing his bags and heading to Portland.
United lost only one out of two possible players in the expansion draft. The team was allowed to add one additional player to its protection list after Graye was selected, and they used the additional protection on midfielder Kurt Morsink.
Graye is a Washington native and trained with United's Developmental Academy while in high school. He played four years at the University of North Carolina before being selected by D.C. in the fourth round of the 2010 MLS Superdraft.
Graye was expected to play as a reserve for the 2010 season, but was called upon early and often due to injuries to defenders Rodney Wallace and Marc Burch. Graye started 20 matches for United in 2010.
According to Chest Rockwell of Black And Red United, Graye will be missed, but not wholeheartedly.
The loss of Graye is not one that will be a big issue for DC, but that's not to say it's good news. Graye was more of a long-term project as an outside back. Blessed with speed, decent size, and an appetite for getting forward, Graye had most of the raw ingredients you want in a wide defender these days. When pressed into service at right back (and later on the opposite flank) due to a crippling injury crisis and the awful early form of our defense as a whole, Graye impressed at first. However, a disastrous pair of home games at left back against the Sounders and the Galaxy caused Graye to be removed from the lineup for most of the rest of the year. He appeared to suffer from a real lack of confidence after making some basic mental errors that turned immediately into goals against.