D.C. United plans to offer a contract extension to Dwayne De Rosario, a mid-season acquisition whose dynamic performances thrust him into serious contention for the MLS most valuable player award.

“We would like to sit down with Dwayne and his representative and discuss an extension,” General Manager Dave Kasper told the Insider on Friday morning.

De Rosario, 33, is entering the club-held option year on a contract that paid him about $500,000 this season. Although United is under no obligation to extend or re-work the deal at this time, the club wants to lock him into a long-term pact and reward him for his extraordinary contributions.

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Toronto FC, his employer last year and for the first few weeks this season, was responsible for about half of his salary. In 2012, United will take on the balance that isn’t covered by the league (about $350,000) under what would be a Designated Player contract. He was not classified as a DP this year.

Commenting on the possibility of a new deal, De Rosario said: “It’s huge. That’s what I always wanted, especially as a family guy, I have to do what’s right not only for me, but for my family as well. When you talk about contract negotiations, all of these things you have to bear in mind. The main focus right now is finishing the season out on a good note and then we’ll deal with all that stuff after.”

In 17 appearances since his arrival from the New York Red Bulls in late June, De Rosario has contributed 13 goals and seven assists. He played a part in 74 percent of United’s goals and, heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Canadian midfielder-forward’s 16 overall goals are first in the MLS scoring race.

On a side note, despite United’s late-season troubles, Ben Olsen is set to return as head coach. This was never really an issue; the club signed him to a long-term deal last winter, with a commitment to remain patient during the rebuilding process.

I’ll have much more on United’s roster situation and Olsen’s standing with the club heading into the offseason in my story for Saturday’s print editions (available online this evening).