De Ro scores, fires back at Red Bulls for surprise trade

HARRISON, N.J. — Dwayne De Rosario let his play and his mouth do the talking Saturday night, scoring the decisive goal of D.C. United’s 1-0 win over the Red Bulls and then publicly questioning his former team's professionalism in trading him away.

“It was more of a shock to me than anyone else,” De Rosario said of the unexpected trade for midfielder Dax McCarty two weeks ago. “I’m a player, a veteran. I didn’t like the way they handled it. I expect them to call me, sit me down, say it face to face. Instead, I get the information and I don’t even get to say goodbye to my teammates. I feel I deserved better than that.”

De Rosario scored his first goal in a DC uniform and fourth of the season in the win.

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“Any chance you get the chance to play an old team, it’s special, it means a bit more,” De Rosario said.

The Red Bulls, for their part, said the move to deal De Rosario was precipitated by a desire to clear cap space for summer additions and that De Rosario’s contract was making things tight against the salary cap. In the final year of his contract, De Rosario has repeatedly said that he would like a Designated Player contract next season and New York seemed unwilling to make that commitment.

Three weeks ago, sporting director Erik Solér said that he planned on talking about an extension with De Rosario.

De Rosario insisted the contract extension talk with Solér and head coach Hans Backe never happened, and the longtime MLS veteran was clearly angered by the way things played out in New York.

“They said they wanted to talk with my agent after the Gold Cup," De Rosario said. "I come back, played forward for a couple games because they needed me to, and then I get traded. For me, my experience, my situation, my advice is for players to get as much from a guaranteed contact as they can. It’s the [crappy] part of the situation.”

The celebration after his 61st-minute goal — a shot from roughly 12 yards out that pinged off the far post before rolling in — was muted, he said, out of respect for the fans who supported him during his brief tenure with New York.

For the Red Bulls, though, it wasn’t surprising that De Rosario scored.

“It’s just a tough loss, it doesn’t matter who scores,” McCarty said. “He is good player, that is why he has been as successful as he has been. He has been a top level for a while. We knew that coming in.”

Added midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy, “Dwayne is a genuinely good person and I wish I could say I was happy to see him win the game. But he’s on the other side.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer