DC's Boskovic eager to make up for lost time with new deal
With his contract status up in the air, Branko Boskovic has gone about his business recently, helping D.C. United catapult their way to the summit of the Eastern Conference. But with his initial two-year deal set to expire in July, there were always underlying questions about whether the Montenegrin would have his contract extended.
Those doubts we're erased on Friday, as the club announced that Boskovic had put pen to paper on a new deal, keeping the midfielder with the team until the end of 2013 season.
"After a difficult two years for me, I think now it's another new beginning," Boskovic told reporters on Friday. "I'm now only thinking about playing and practicing. All the things about the contract [are] now done."
WATCH: Boskovic finds Pontius at back post
After arriving in D.C. in 2010, Boskovic struggled to find his feet in MLS during the Black-and-Red's tortuous campaign. A torn ACL ruined his 2011 season, but over the past couple of months, he’s worked his way into the graces of manager Ben Olsen. Boskovic has appeared in 12 of 17 league matches this season, registering three assists in the team's past four games.
His presence was evident in the recent loss to New York, when Olsen turned to the veteran with United down two goals. Boskovic came on and helped engineer one goal. the comeback fell short in the end, but Boskovic helped make it interesting down the stretch.
"He's been a big part of some of the success we've had this year," Olsen told reporters. "The quality he brings is evident when he comes on the field. He makes us a better soccer team. But it's not always about soccer in this league."
As the 2012 season started, Boskovic was seemingly in position to finally star for United on the field. Fully recovered from his ACL injury, Boskovic started the opener against Sporting Kansas City. But the team struggled early on, and Boskovic found himself as the odd man out in United's crowded midfield. Injuries and fluctuating form from some players, however, allowed to him get back into the side recently, but his previous struggles played a part in removing the Designated Player tag from his new contract.
That hasn't had any negative effect on his relationship with the team, though.
"We're at the best point in our relationship," Olsen added. "With him to the club, myself to him and him with the team. There are circumstances why he hasn't [reached] that DP status, but an ACL [injury] doesn't help."
Boskovic had whispers of offers in Europe, but his heart was set on making up for two mostly unproductive years with United. With a new contract in hand and a spot in the team carved out for him, Boskovic may yet turn out to be the impact player that United brought over in 2010.
"I spoke with people in Europe, but [there was] nothing concrete," Boskovic said. "I was happy that they offered me something after two years. I must say thank you to the people at the club for one more chance."