WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: Dwayne De Rosario #7 of D.C. United dribbles the ball against Collen Warner #26 of Real Salt Lake at RFK Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
D.C. United has bolstered their chances of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 by re-signing the reigning MLS MVP
After and offseason of wrangling, Dwayne De Rosario and D.C. United have agreed to a new contract that will keep the reigning MLS MVP in the nation's capital. The player and club had spent most of the offseason working on a new contract and at no point did it ever seem like there was bad blood between the two or that it wouldn't get done. Now it appears as if the deal is done and D.C. can get ready for the 2012 season with their star in the fold.
"It’s nice to be with an organization that has the same goals and ambitions as I," said De Rosario. "D.C. United has a very rich history and one that we want to relive in the near future – hopefully we can start this year. It’s a great feeling to be associated with the United family. Ever since I came here, the organization and the fans have accepted me as part of the family, and I want to keep this family growing all across the DC area and relive those special moments."
De Rosario played for three clubs in 2011, starting with Toronto FC before being traded to the New York Red Bulls and then to DC. He scored 16 goals to win Golden Boot honors and had 11 assists for those three, but he was at his best with D.C., which he almost led to a playoff berth after the team was left for dead midseason.
The 2011 season was the first that De Rosario won MVP honors, but he has been one of the best in the league for more than a decade now. He has been named to the MLS Best XI team six times and has won MLS Cup MVP honors in two of his four Cup-winning matches. With him back, alongside a healthy Branko Boskovic, Hamdi Salihi, Andy Najar and a healthy Chris Pontius, Ben Olsen's club look to have the attack necessary to return to the playoffs in 2012 for the first time since 2007.
Goff also revealed that De Rosario would be the club's highest-paid player, but he would not count as the club's third Designated Player. That is because they will pay down De Rosario's contract with allocation money, keeping Boskovic and Salihi the club's only two Designated Players. D.C. chose to pay down De Rosario's contract instead of Boskovic's or Salihi's because while the Canadian will be the highest-paid player, the club paid transfer fees for their two Designated Players, essentially making them more expensive in MLS salary cap math.