- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario does what’s needed, where it’s needed
If there was a caveat to Dwayne De Rosario’s historically prolific half-season with D.C. United last year, it was that he set the bar impossibly high.
With goal after goal, the all-time MLS great heaved his new team on his back and nearly carried it to the postseason, earning Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot honors along the way.
So what could De Rosario do for an encore in 2012? With United boasting improved personnel up top, coach Ben Olsen has asked the Canada international to take on more of a facilitator role, regularly slotting the 34-year-old into midfield.
The goals, as expected, are down. But the assists are up — 10 to lead the league, in fact.
“It’s a product of where he’s been playing on the field,” coach Ben Olsen said. “He seems to step up and do the job in whatever position we put him in, and hopefully he’ll continue to do that.”
That seems like a safe bet. At this point, Olsen could almost toss De Rosario a pair of gloves and expect the player to top MLS in shutouts. As teammate Chris Pontius put it, “First and foremost, he’s a winner.”
It’s adaptability that was recognized Sunday when De Rosario was named to his seventh All-Star team as one of four midfielders in the fan-voted First XI.
“It’s such a big thing in American sports, when you get selected as an All-Star,” De Rosario said. “Every player wants to be a part of it. It gives me the opportunity to play with some of the players I admire in this league, so I still feel very honored when I am selected.”
De Rosario, who scored 13 times in 18 games after a trade to United last season, has just five goals in 18 matches this year. More could be on the way, though, now that Branko Boskovic has begun to make his mark in central midfield, a development that could push De Rosario back to forward on a regular basis.
The arduous time spent in midfield thus far, however, has created even more wear and tear for De Rosario, who leads United in minutes despite being the club’s second-oldest player. Last month, he also turned in three 90-minute shifts for the Canada national team while coping with long flights both north of the border and to the Caribbean for World Cup qualifying.
“It’s difficult,” said De Rosario, a onetime vegan who now eats fish but still avoids meat and poultry. “It’s all about managing your body, managing yourself, taking care of yourself outside of training, outside of the field and really trying to do that as much as possible.”
The peak physical condition De Rosario maintains is just one of the ways he leads United by example. Given the full-time captaincy this season, De Rosario has embraced the increased responsibility in just his second campaign with the club.
“To be consistently that good, obviously it shows a lot,” Pontius said. “You go into every game looking to get the three points. And that’s how his mentality is. Obviously, within the locker room, he’s good for a lot of the younger guys. He’s a role model in the way he takes care of himself. I’d say he’s got all the characteristics you’d need and want in a captain.”
Largely thanks to De Rosario, United (10-5-3) are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference going into Sunday’s match at the Houston Dynamo (6-5-7).
For a D.C. team high on talent but low on playoff experience, De Rosario’s status as a four-time MLS Cup champion will be all the more crucial in the season’s second half and beyond.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Luis Silva realizes potential in D.C. United playmaking role
- United, D.C. hope this new stadium plan will be the last
- Jared Jeffrey returns to U.S. in search of playing time after European tour
- Sonny Silooy's career has evolved from standout defender to standout talent developer
- Alain Rochat adjusts to D.C. United move with growing family on his mind
Latest Blog Entries
- Jason Levien, Ben Olsen discuss D.C. United's $300M stadium plan
- Conor Doyle loan continues D.C. United youth movement
- Ben Olsen discusses trading Brandon McDonald to Real Salt Lake
- Interview outtakes: Sonny Silooy
- Hello Luis Silva, Collin Martin, goodbye Alain Rochat: Breaking down D.C. United's busy day
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Wasted: Tom Coburn's 'Wastebook targets 70 days in bed, Facebook
- Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson tributes face Army War College removal
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- House seeks Fast and Furious gun-walking documents
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Domino's launches its first vegan pizza
- OBAMASCARE: Huge premium hikes rock employer-insured workers
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow