- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Luis Silva realizes potential in D.C. United playmaking role
Since joining D.C. United last month, Luis Silva has been adamant about his role. He's a playmaker. Not a striker. Not a winger. A playmaker.
But that wasn't always the case. As a boy growing up in Southern California, Silva actually developed an affinity for pulling on the gloves and standing between the posts. For a while, he would play half of each game at goalkeeper and half at forward.
It wasn't until he was 14 or 15 years old that Silva was finally deployed as an attacking midfielder for a team coached by his uncle.
"Ever since then," Silva said, "I never played any other position."
Silva immediately fell in love with the spot. He studied the likes of Alessandro Del Piero and Zinedine Zidane, hoping to replicate their movements and creativity. He enjoyed being the man an attack flows through, relishing every opportunity to have the ball at his feet.
In just four games with United, Silva has shown what he's capable of as a playmaker. With three goals and an assist, he's already the leading scorer for a 3-17-4 D.C. squad — handsomely rewarding coach Ben Olsen's decision to let the 24-year-old newcomer run the show in a free-flowing position.
"That builds my confidence a lot," Silva said. "The coach has been talking to me a lot about that role specifically, giving me that freedom to come back in the middle, to go back up top and just make things happen offensively."
In recent matches, Silva has developed a shrewd relationship with United captain Dwayne De Rosario. While Silva and the 35-year-old former MVP initially appeared to be competing for one spot, Olsen has found success using both players simultaneously.
"It takes time, but they're both good soccer players and they both have abstract ideas up there," Olsen said. "It's only going to get better, and for the limited time they've spent up there together, I've been happy with it."
Although De Rosario on paper plays as the lone forward above Silva, the veteran does drop into midfield from time to time. At that point, Silva knows it's his responsibility to move higher up the field and fill the void up top.
It's an interchange-heavy partnership that has been surprisingly effective given how little time the players have had to learn each other's tendencies.
"The game and the plays dictate that, and I think we both have a good understanding of where we need to be," De Rosario said. "That kind of understanding without really rehearsing it is good."
Silva at RFK Stadium on Saturday will have a chance to face Toronto (4-12-8) for the first time since the trade. After being picked fourth overall out of UC Santa Barbara in the 2012 draft, Silva played forward and wide midfield under coaches Aron Winter, Paul Mariner and Ryan Nelsen but never felt like he got a chance to be a true playmaker.
He doesn't carry any resentment toward the club that gave him his professional start. Yet he's certainly happy with the change scenery.
"I thank them for everything they did, drafting me, welcoming me to Toronto and all," Silva said. "Obviously I had three different coaches and that can be a little tough — different systems, they want to play different positions. You just had to get used to it if you wanted to be on the field. But overall, it was good.
"I feel happy here in D.C. I think they use me differently. They use me to my potential."
© 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
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- KEENE: Nelson Mandela's legacy
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!