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The veteran defender heads to the nation's capital in exchange for a third round MLS SuperDraft pick

D.C. United took a step towards shoring up its defense Tuesday, announcing it has acquired veteran defender Robbie Russell from Real Salt Lake in exchange for a third round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2013.

Russell, 32, spent four seasons with RSL, where he appeared in 78 regular season matches, starting 68 of those. The 6-foot-2 defender played mostly at full back during his time in Utah.

“We are pleased to be adding a quality veteran defender in Robbie Russell,” said United general manager Dave Kasper. “He has championship level experience in our league, and he will be a big addition to our squad moving into the 2012 season."

The highlight of Russell's time with RSL was scoring the penalty kick against the Galaxy that clinched the 2009 MLS Cup.

Before moving to MLS, Russell played in Norway with Sogndal I.L. before moving on to top Norwegian club Rosenborg BK. He then transferred to Denmark's Superligaen with Viborg FF, where he played between 2006 and 2008.

Russell's veteran presence will be welcomed to a D.C. backline which started three rookies at times during the 2011 season: Chris Korb, Ethan White and Perry Kitchen.

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