D.C. United president Dave Kasper has called new signing Ravel Morrison “an incredible talent” ahead of Saturday’s potential debut against CF Montreal.

The 29-year-old Morrison has signed on a free transfer after leaving Derby County at the end of the 2021-22 season. Morrison arrives soon after another former Derby player became head coach of D.C., with Wayne Rooney taking over last week after Hernan Losada was sacked in April.

Kasper was excited about the new signing.

“Wayne worked closely with Ravel during his time as manager of Derby County,” he said. “Ravel is an incredible talent and his ability to create and score goals is impressive. He has played at the highest levels during his career and his vision, creativity and ability on the ball will be a huge asset for us.”

Morrison could provide a welcome boost for D.C., which is currently bottom of the Eastern Conference and has the fewest points in the entire MLS.

United also has the joint-worst defence in the league, and Saturday’s opponents Montreal certainly have the firepower to take full advantage of that shaky D.C. back line.

L’Impact have scored 34 goals this campaign, the second most in the Eastern Conference. They sit fourth in the conference and will look to consolidate their playoff position with another three points at Audi Field.

Joint-top scorer Djordje Mihailovic made his return from injury with a half-hour appearance in last week’s 1-0 win over Toronto FC, but knows he must be cautious.

“It’s important to be smart with my minutes,” Mihailovic said. “That was my first 30 minutes in a month and a half, so I’m going to have to speak with the staff about what the plan is.

“We still have a long stretch of games left and there are playoff chances. There’s not really a need to rush things right now.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

D.C. United – Ola Kamara

Kamara has six career goals against CF Montreal, one of five teams he’s scored a career-best six goals against in MLS. L’Impact will be hoping they can keep their bogey man out.

CF Montreal – Romell Quioto

Quioto has scored four of CF Montreal’s last nine MLS goals. D.C. will have to keep a watchful eye on the Honduran forward to get a positive result.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– D.C. United won its last match against Montreal, 2-1, at home last August. The victory was D.C.’s third in its last 14 matches against Montreal (D5 L6, including playoffs). D.C. has won consecutive matches against Montreal only once, doing so in March-August 2015.

– D.C. United’s 2-0 loss to Minnesota United on Saturday was the ninth time in the last 10 matches that it has allowed multiple goals (W1 D3 L6). The 28 goals D.C. has allowed over that time are the most it has ever allowed in a 10-match span in the club’s MLS history.

– CF Montreal’s 1-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday was just its second clean sheet of the season. Montreal has not kept consecutive clean sheets in over a year, last doing so from May-June 2021 with the second of those coming against D.C. United.

– Kamara has scored at least once against Montreal in every season from 2017 through 2021.

– Since he joined Montreal in 2020, Quioto has scored 24 times, more than twice as many goals as any other player for the club. Mihailovic is second over that period with 11.