Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the move is a permanent transfer and Canouse has been signed to a multi-year contract.
“Russell is a dominant holding midfielder with great talent and vision, especially as a young player,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. “We’re pleased to acquire such an accomplished 22-year-old with years of European experience. He is a strong, physical presence who has an acute ability to dictate play.”
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder had been with the Hoffenheim setup since 2011, making his Bundesliga debut in a match against Wolfsburg in March 2016. He spent part of last season on loan with 2.Bundesliga side Vfl Bochum.
Canouse, who was selected to represent the U.S. at the 2015 U-20 World Cup before withdrawing with an ankle injury, made 20 appearances during the 2016-17 2. Bundesliga campaign while on loan to Bochum. He will be expected to push Marcelo Sarvas and Jared Jeffrey for minutes as Ian Harkes' partner in defensive midfield.
United sits last in MLS with a 5-14-4 record and continued its overhaul which has seen the departures of Lamar Neagle and Bobby Boswell in recent days and the additions of Canouse and Zoltan Stieber, with the club also reportedly close to landing U.S. international Paul Arriola ahead of the MLS transfer deadline.