End of an era: DC United decline contract option for 2011 Volkswagen MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario
The Dwayne De Rosario era is officially over in the nation's capital.
On Thursday, D.C. United announced that the club had declined their option on the veteran midfielder and 2011 Volkswagen MLS MVP, who will become eligible for the Re-Entry Draft.
"We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions to our team over the past three seasons,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. “He was instrumental in helping the club reach the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship series, as well as winning this year's US Open Cup.
"This was a difficult decision to make, but it was one that we felt was best for our team to move forward into next season and beyond. We wish Dwayne all the best with his future.”
After joining the club in late June 2011 following a trade with the New York Red Bulls for Dax McCarty, De Rosario scored 13 goals and recorded seven assists in 18 games, enough to nab the league's top individual award despite the fact that D.C. missed the playoffs. He finished the season with 16 goals and 12 assists while spending time with United, New York and Toronto FC.
In 2012, De Rosario took over the captaincy under head coach Ben Olsen, contributing seven goals to and a team-leading 12 assists while leading D.C. back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. He had three goals and two assists in 24 games in 2013, and helped lead the club to an unlikely US Open Cup title by netting five goals in five games.
A four-time MLS Cup champion, De Rosario finished his D.C. career with career 23 goals and 21 assists in 68 games played. He currently sits sixth on the all-time MLS scoring chart with 103 tallies in stints with the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls.
The 35-year-old Canadian international would be the second MLS MVP to enter the Re-Entry Draft, following in the footsteps of Guillermo Barros Schelotto.