Photo by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com
D.C. Current continues to add depth and speed to their already stacked roster in preparation for the fast-approaching 2014 season.
Last week, the 2013 Eastern Conference runner-ups re-signed playmaker Delrico “Rico” Johnson (Towson University/Towson, Md.) and added collegiate standout Cody Johnston (College of William & Mary/Arlington, Va.) to bring their roster total to 11 heading into next weekend’s open combine.
“Both these guys are young, hungry players and I couldn’t be happier to add them to our roster,” said General Manger Matt Dewhurst. “Rico [Johnson] was a human highlight reel for D.C. last season. You never knew when he was going to make an unbelievable play.
“Cody [Johnston] is one of the brightest young players in the game and it will be really fun to watch him develop with the Current this season. You may not know his name right now, but I assure you, you will by the time the playoffs roll around.”
Johnson returns to the Current as one of the most recognizable players on and off the field thanks to his spectacular week 10 grab, which reached No. 7 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 and was featured on SportsNation.
Despite not racking up the numbers in the stats columns, Johnson was a huge contributor on the defensive line last season for D.C. as a defensive deterrent. He finished the season second on the team in defenses with 10 total and with six points — 5 goals and an assist.
“To be so close to the championship game and lose kind of leaves a hard feeling in your stomach,” Johnson said. “There was no way I was going to miss another chance to go after the championship with the potential this team has.”
Known for his blistering speed and acceleration, Johnson has the ability to make throwers second guess sending a disc downfield if he’s even remotely in the area and the recovery speed to make a play when they do.
“Rico’s athleticsim is his strongest asset, but he still has space to develop his game,” said Assistant Coach Will Smolinski. “We hope to work with him and help him grow more consistent and fundamentally sound habits on both defense and on offense. If he can put it all together, he’s going to be really tough to handle.”
Johnson showed his athleticism right from the beginning by making a huge play in week 1 last season that earned him the Defensive Play of the Week.
“I want to be unstoppable,” Johnson said. “I want teams to fear turning the disc over against us. If a thrower has to worry about where I am on the field, I’ve already won.”
In contrast to Johnson’s flashy, and at times unpolished, play is Johnston, a cool, calm and collected handler that seems to be allergic to turnovers.
“Cody is smooth. He does not get wrapped up in emotions,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “He has dominant handler skills and rarely makes mistakes.”
Johnston has been a leader for William & Mary Ultimate for the last three season and is poised for an outstanding senior year. As a sophomore and junior, he received Atlantic Region Second Team All Region honors. In 2011, he was named Freshman of the Year in the Atlantic Region.
“Cody has been an integral part of every team he has played on since high school,” Coach Smolinski said. “He has adapted and grown quickly to each new level of the game. He isn’t flashy, but you take comfort in knowing Cody is there because he can be depended on. He’s an ace in the hole.”
Johnston is a local product out of the Yorktown/H-B Woodlawn Ultimate program based in Arlington, Va.
“I’m thrilled to be representing the city of D.C. at the professional level,” Johnston said. “Playing under the lights, in front of thousands of fans, against the best players in the world, it’s not an experience you can find anywhere else.”
Johnston will fill in on an already stacked offensive line that includes last season’s goal leader Peter Prial, passing leader Alan Kolick and the league’s third leading assists man Markham Shofner.