Dwayne De Rosario, who was traded twice this season before finding a home with D.C. United, has won MLS’s most valuable player award by a wide margin. The Canadian midfielder-forward is the third United player in six seasons to be so honored, joining Christian Gomez (2006) and Luciano Emilio (2007). MLS, which announced the winner in a league sponsor’s newspaper ad, will salute De Rosario, 33, on Friday afternoon at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
In voting by players, club representatives and reporters at the end of the regular season, De Rosario (16 goals, 12 assists) finished ahead of Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis (four, 16) and FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea (11, four). Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan was fourth and Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales fifth.
I’ll share the voting data shortly.
Players: DeRo 26.4, Shea 8.6.
Club reps: DeRo 20.4, Davis 15.1.
Reporters: DeRo 25.9, Davis 21.2.
Weighted score: De Rosario 72.7, Davis 43.7, Shea 27.6, Donovan 26.5, Rosales 20.3.
DeRo, as he’s known, scored the same number of goals as San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski but won the Golden Boot by virtue of a superior assist total.
Although United failed to qualify for the playoffs, De Rosario was an influential and artistic presence after being acquired from the New York Red Bulls for midfielder Dax McCarty. In 18 DCU appearances, De Rosario had 13 goals (two hat tricks) and seven assists. He was the only player in the league this year to accumulate at least 10 goals and 10 assists.
The last athlete from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS or Major League Baseball to win the top award after being traded during that season was hockey player Joe Thornton, who moved to the San Jose Sharks from the Boston Bruins during the 2005-06 campaign.
De Rosario, the MLS Cup MVP in 2001 with San Jose and 2007 with Houston, was actually traded twice this season. He began the year with Toronto FC, his hometown club, and was dealt to the Red Bulls after just two matches. He didn’t fit into Coach Hans Backe’s system, however, and United, which had attempted to acquire him last year, landed him on June 27.
“For me, this is the most meaningful individual honor of my career,” De Rosario said in a written statement.
With his contract set to expire after next season, United is planning to re-work the deal this winter by increasing his compensation and extending the length of the pact. He earned about $500,000 this season.
Do you agree with De Rosario being chosen as MVP? He was, in my opinion, the clear-cut choice for player of the year, but without a playoff appearance, was he the most valuable? Let us know in the comments section.