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DC United take Houston's Ngwenya in MLS Re-Entry Draft

DC United announced today that the club has selected forward Joseph Ngwenya with the first pick in Stage 1 of the 2010 MLS Re-Entry Process. Per Re-Entry Process rules, D.C. United exercised the option on Ngwenya's contract and the player has been added to the club roster.

The Black-and-Red also hold the first pick in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Process on December 15.

"Joe is a guy that I always thought posed big problems for defenses in our League," said United Head Coach Ben Olsen. "He is an athletic guy that knows how to play the game, and I really do believe that his best days are ahead of him."

"Joseph is a physically gifted forward who has proven himself over many seasons in Major League Soccer," said General Manager Dave Kasper. "His strength and versatility will be valuable assets for our club in 2011."

Ngwenya comes to United from Houston, where he spent two seasons in 2010 and 2007. The forward re-signed with the Dynamo in April of this year following a spell with Turkish side Antalyaspor. Ngwenya appeared in 12 MLS matches in 2010, starting six times and scoring one goal for the Texas club. In 2007 the Zimbabwean helped Houston win MLS Cup at RFK Stadium against the New England Revolution, scoring the equalizing goal in the second half. That season, Ngwenya scored nine goals in 33 games across all competitions for the Dynamo in 2007, appearing in four playoff matches that season.

Before his time in Houston, Ngwenya played for the Columbus Crew in 2006, appearing in 20 matches (17 starts), tallying five goals to accompany his two assists. Ngwenya was traded to Columbus from Los Angeles, where the forward spent two seasons after being selected third overall in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by the Galaxy. In total, Ngwenya played in 38 regular season matches (14 starts) for Los Angeles, scoring four times.

Internationally, Ngwenya has been capped five times by Zimbabwe. He made his senior team debut for The Warriors on June 1, 2008 in a World Cup qualifier at Guinea. Ngwena went on to represent his country in further World Cup qualifiers against Namibia, Guinea once more, and Kenya in two contests.

Ngwenya is a product of Coastal Carolina University, where he set career records in goals (66) and points (164), while finishing third in all-time assists (32) over his four-year career. In 2003 Ngwenya completed his senior year with 21 goals and 14 assists in 22 games, earning Soccer America National Player of the Year, Soccer Times Player of the Year, and Big South Conference Player of the Year. Ngwenya was also a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Finalist for his efforts.

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