D.C. acquires Red Bulls veteran De Rosario for captain McCarty

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D.C. United acquired veteran playmaker Dwayne De Rosario from the New York Red Bulls for midfielder Dax McCarty, one of two trades swung by the club on Monday.

The move brings De Rosario, 33, to Washington following a decade of unrivaled success in Major League Soccer. A four-time MLS Cup winner, De Rosario was named MLS Cup MVP in 2001 and 2007. The midfielder is a five-time All-Star and has been selected to the MLS Best XI five times.

D.C. also acquired defender Brandon McDonald from the San Jose Earthquakes for allocation money. McDonald, 25, started 54 games in three campaigns with San Jose, including eight this season after playing his rookie year with Los Angeles.

The 6-foot-1 center back was called into a January 2009 U.S. national team training camp but is yet to appear in an international match.

Acquiring De Rosario, though, was a coup.

“We are thrilled to have concluded a deal to bring Dwayne De Rosario to our club,” general manager Dave Kasper said. “Dwayne is a proven champion in our league and will add significant firepower to our attack. We look forward to seeing him join the club this week.”

United coach Ben Olsen was effusive in his praise of the trade.

“Today we signed one of the best players MLS has ever seen in Dwayne De Rosario,” Olsen said. “In order to gain a quality piece we gave up a quality player in Dax McCarty, but we feel that De Rosario is a game-changer that will help us in our push for playoffs.”

De Rosario began this season with Toronto FC in his native Canada, registering one goal and one assist in two matches before being dealt to the New York Red Bulls on April 1. Since then, he started 12 of 13 MLS contests for New York, totaling two goals and four assists.

Before his stint with the Red Bulls, De Rosario was an attacking force for Toronto FC during the 2009 and 2010 MLS seasons. In 55 regular-season matches (51 starts), De Rosario accumulated 26 goals and nine assists. His most potent campaign came in 2010, when the attacking midfielder posted a career-high 15 tallies. For his efforts, De Rosario was named to his fifth MLS Best XI side and the MLS All-Star squad.

Before his time in Toronto, De Rosario helped the Houston Dynamo to back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007. He scored the Cup-winning goal at RFK Stadium in November 2007 during a 2-1 triumph over the New England Revolution. In 2006, the midfielder appeared in 30 matches for the Dynamo (29 starts) en route to an 11-goal season that propelled Houston to its first MLS Cup title.

De Rosario began his MLS career with the San Jose Earthquakes, coming to the club in 2001 from the Richmond Kickers. He helped San Jose to MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003, and in five MLS seasons with the Earthquakes, De Rosario recorded 27 regular season goals and 31 assists. In his 11 MLS seasons, De Rosario boasts 80 goals and 56 assists - good for 11th and 20th in league history, respectively.

Dax McCarty came to United on Nov. 24, 2010 following the MLS expansion draft, in which the Portland Timbers acquired the midfielder with the first overall pick. Portland sent McCarty to D.C. for defender Rodney Wallace and a first-round selection in the 2011 supplemental draft.

McCarty, named United’s captain at the start of the season, recorded two assists in 13 MLS matches (11 starts) for D.C.

c From staff reports

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