- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 12, 2005

D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell almost didn’t get an opportunity in Major League Soccer, so it should be no surprise he’s milking every moment of his time in Washington.

Boswell, a rookie out of Florida International, has played every minute for United this season despite never receiving an invitation to the MLS combine — a honor he felt he deserved — and going undrafted.

United coach Peter Nowak invited Boswell to United’s training camp, and Boswell slid into the crucial center defense position vacated when Ryan Nelsen left for the Premier League in England. Boswell and United will face the Metrostars tonight at 6 in East Rutherford, N.J.

“I felt like I was one of the better guys coming out,” Boswell said. “Everything didn’t go my way, but I knew if I stayed in shape, I would eventually get an opportunity somewhere. I just tried to make the most of it whenever I got it. I knew if I got an opportunity and did well, I probably would get a good look.”

Boswell has surprised the coaching staff with his consistency and intelligence. Though he has not completely adjusted to the speed of the professional game, Boswell rarely leaves his position, limiting the number of mistakes he can make.

Boswell had not played the center defense position before FIU coach Karl Kremser switched him there in 2004, but he quickly adapted and excelled.

His inherent knowledge and love of soccer — Boswell never sat out a minute at FIU — allowed him to be effective as the center back.

“It’s just not a position where you can have three or four guys doing it,” United defender Brandon Prideaux said. “You do need that consistency in the back.

As he continues to improve, Boswell wants to lead an already solid defensive unit. United has allowed only 12 goals in 10 games, but the United coaching staff would like Boswell to be more vocal when organizing the defense.

“What we’re trying to get out of Bobby is to take a little bit more of a leadership role out there,” assistant coach Tom Soehn said. “He has all the qualities that if you bring him into a MLS franchise, you can develop.”

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