In the midst of a dreadful season, DC United seeing great signs of the future with Luis Silva

WASHINGTON – When D.C. United acquired Luis Silva from Toronto FC, veteran Dwayne De Rosario pulled the 24-year-old aside and gave him some advice.

He encouraged Silva to be confident in his abilities and to take chances when they come along – don’t worry about passing every time down the field.

And in two matches, Silva has found the net from distance with powerful strikes and has proven to be a bright spot not only in United’s ongoing nightmare of a 2013 campaign, but for the future as well.

“I think he’s a fantastic player and he plays that position I’m coming into very good,” Silva said of De Rosario. “I’m trying to learn from him as much as I can, [trying to] be aggressive like he is. He’s been helping me a lot.”

FULL LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE

Silva’s eighth-minute goal in Saturday’s 2-1 loss against New England at RFK Stadium marked the first time this year United have scored in the opening 10 minutes of a match. It also tied the University of California-Santa Barbara product with De Rosario and Lionard Pajoy for the team lead in goals this year, with two.

“Silva’s a real piece. And we’re looking to add as many real pieces for the future of this club right now,” said United coach Ben Olsen after his club’s league-leading 15th loss of the season.

While United goalkeeper Joe Willis said losing “always sucks,” and that the losses never get any easier, there was a sense after this one that keeping an eye on the future is now a definite point of positivity upon which the club can draw.

Olsen described that mentality in his own eternally-charismatic way.

OPTA Chalkboard: The Revolution capitalized on minimal threats at goal

"I’ve got one eye here, presently, on the week-to-week MLS to try to continue to tinker and find out which guys are going to be around,” he said. “I’ve got another eye on the Open Cup, which is a big deal, and finding out what the best team is that we have to put out there. Then I’ve got my third eye on the future of this club. That’s a very important thing right now. I still believe in the future of this club and a bunch of these guys that I have in this locker room.”

Silva is one such piece and he said he’s happy with the freedom Olsen and United’s coaching staff have allowed him to take control of the No. 10 position.

“[In Toronto] I was playing as a forward. Here, the coach is trying to give me the freedom to play as a No. 10 and I have the freedom to go anywhere on the field,” Silva said. “I’m not pressured or anything. I’m just trying to play my football. Things are going to come our way, obviously I proved it in the last two games. We’ve just got to get that win.”

Nick Cammarota covers D.C. United for MLSsoccer.com.