Danny Szetela's career has had its ups and downs, but it has now hit what may be its low point.
The former U.S. Olympic team member and Under-20 standout was waived by D.C. United on Tuesday, less than a year after joining the club from Italian Serie B club Brescia. Sources close to Szetela confirmed the move late Tuesday.
Szetela's pre-season with D.C. United was cut short by a torn right meniscus that kept him sidelined for six weeks, thus forcing him to miss the majority of United's pre-season and missing his chance to impress new D.C. head coach Curt Onalfo.
Szetela has recovered from the knee surgery, but must now look for a new team as MLS clubs get ready for the 2010 season. The former Columbus Crew midfielder and New Jersey native might have been considered a possibility for either Philadelphia or New York given his status as a local product for the Red Bulls and his ties to Union head coach Peter Nowak, but both teams are loaded in central midfield. The Union has Andrew Jacobson, Toni Stahl and Amobi Okugo while New York has Joel Lindpere, Tony Tchani, Carl Robinson and Seth Stammler in central midfield.
That may not stop Nowak from taking a look. Nowak tried to bring Szetela to D.C. when he was head coach there, and also coached him with the U.S. Olympic team.
A U.S. youth national team star, Szetela played for the Crew before moving to Spanish side Racing Santander. He was loaned to Brescia, where he saw playing time before a coaching change led to his eventual departure and return to MLS. He showed glimpses of his talent in limited playing time with D.C. in 2009, and suffered the torn meniscus on just the second day of D.C. United's pre-season.