Major League Soccer MVP Candidate: Dwayne De Rosario

United may be Dwayne De Rosario's third team this year, but that doesn't mean he still can't be the MVP of MLS. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

Black and Red United's Martin Shatzer gives the MVP case for Dwayne De Rosario, who is having a season for the ages at DC United.

No player in MLS has been more important to his team this season than Dwayne De Rosario. Well, at least he's been really important to his third team.

Since joining DC United at the end of June, De Rosario has been a part of 70 percent of the team's goals. He's elevated his play significantly, and absolutely deserves consideration for this individual award, even though two teams prior weren't able to fully recognize his worth. This United team wouldn't even have been in playoff consideration without him. De Rosario is just that valuable.

MLS MVP Race

With 22 SB Nation Soccer editors casting ballots, 11 different players received at least some consideration. This table shows how many 1st and 2nd place votes, how many total points (3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd) and how many ballots each player received. Click the player's name to go to their MVP profile:
1st 2nd total ballots
Brek Shea 5 4 28 13
Brad Davis 3 7 26 12
Mauro Rosales 3 4 21 11
Dwayne DeRosario 4 1 17 8
Fredy Montero 3 1 12 5
Landon Donovan 0 2 7 5
Thierry Henry 1 1 6 3
David Beckham 2 0 6 2
Osvaldo Alonso 1 1 5 2
Sebastien Le Toux 0 1 3 2
Omar Gonzalez 0 0 1 1

De Rosario changed the dynamic of D.C.'s attack immediately since arriving from the New York Red Bulls in a trade for Dax McCarty. He guides the team's offense and is the proven leader that the team had been previously lacking. Whenever United need a goal, you can bet the ball will be fed to De Rosario as often as possible. In New York, he was just another chef in a kitchen short of waiters. In D.C. though, this star has been allowed to shine.

For a team so full of history, memories, and a tradition of winning, even in the twilight of his career, De Rosario is a natural heir to the throne of Jaime Moreno, Christian Gomez and Marco Etcheverry. His 16 goals this season are best in the league, but his 11 assists are perhaps an even more telling statistic. No other player in MLS has double digit tallies in both categories. De Rosario has two hat tricks for United this season, one of them coming in a masterful performance against Real Salt Lake that his fans have called perhaps the greatest single-player single-game performance in D.C. United history. And that's saying a lot.

It just got a little harder to argue for De Rosario to win the MVP award now that United have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. But even as that happened, it was De Rosario who nearly single-handedly willed them to victory in Wednesday's do-or-die game.

Martin Shatzer is the managing editor at Black and Red United. Follow him on Twitter at @MShatzerDC.

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