D.C. United and U.S. men’s national team midfielder Paul Arriola is headed overseas.
In a statement released on Monday, D.C. United announced on Monday that Arriola would join Swansea City A.F.C. on a short-term loan that will last through the remainder of the English Football League (EFL) Championship season.
Swansea sits in second place in the league table with 40 points (14-8-4) through the first 26 matches of the season. Looking to hold on to an automatic promotion spot, they added Arriola just weeks after striking a season-long loan deal for another U.S. international in Seattle Sounders striker Jordan Morris.
“We have spoken with Paul and we understand how exciting this step is for him in his professional career,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations, said. “We wish Paul the best of luck and look forward to him rejoining our club.”
The 25-year-old has recorded 14 goals and 13 assists in 72 appearances in all competitions for the Black-and-Red. He was a fixture in the starting lineup under former coach Ben Olsen, before suffering a torn ACL during a 2020 preseason match.
Arriola seems to have fully recovered, earning a call up to Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT January camp. He earned his 18th national team cap on Sunday, scoring a brace in the USMNT’s 7-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
The MLS announced that the first games of the 2021 season would kick off in April, meaning Arriola, who signed with D.C. United as a Young Designated Player in 2017, could miss the start of his fifth MLS season and his first season under new manager Hernan Losada. D.C. United have the option to recall Arriola before the Primary MLS transfer window closes on May 4. With 20 games left to be played, the EFL Championship season is set to conclude on May 8.
But the league and the MLSPA are still negotiating modifications to the collective bargaining agreement, with the league reportedly ready to impose a deadline of Thursday, Feb. 4, after which it plans to lock the players out. If the MLS does experience the first work stoppage of its 26-year history, Arriola would likely remain with the Wales-based club through the end of the season.
He could make his debut as soon as Friday, should Swansea manager Steve Cooper give him the nod against league-leaders Norwich City. Morris made his debut for the Swans on Saturday, coming off the bench in the 83rd minute of their 3-1 victory over Rotherham United.