WASHINGTON — Though Dwayne De Rosario wasn't yet training with his new teammates, there was a buzz excitement around the D.C. United practice pitch on Tuesday morning.
After all, the Canadian international adds yet another attacking dimension to a team looking at making a push for the playoffs.
“He has the ability to pull off the unexpected and incredible,” forward Josh Wolff said. “He also has the ability to make the simple plays.”
The former Red Bulls midfielder was added to the DC roster after a surprise swap that saw Dax McCarty traded to New York on Monday.
"It’s another threat to add to our offense," Chris Pontius said. "Now teams have to worry about someone who’s put up a lot of goals in this league, won a couple of championships. It just makes us more dynamic as an offense.”
Though DC’s attack hadn’t struggled as much as it did last season — United have already equaled their 2010 goal total of 21 through just 15 games — there has been a lack of a creative punch from central midfield.
“Anyone who’s watched our games can say that,” Pontius said. “So for the [opponent's] defense to have to worry about that now, it’s going to be tough to stop our offense.”
Adding De Rosario gives head coach Ben Olsen the opportunity to make a very subtle change tactically by deploying De Rosario as an attacking midfielder centrally, someone who can push forward and contribute to the attack.
And though the move could allow for more drastic changes, Olsen was said that there wouldn’t be an overhaul of the team’s tactical approach.
“We’re not throwing what we built out the window because we got some additions,” he said. “DeRo has played 4-4-2, he’s played 4-3-3, he’s played it all and he’s played a lot of positions. I don’t plan on mixing up formations or the way we go about our business.”
De Rosario is expected to join the team by Thursday and will be available for selection this Saturday against Philadelphia. Whether he’ll play is something Olsen and the coaching staff will evaluate throughout the week.
“He’s got a lot of miles right now,” he said. “We want to be smart. I want to talk to him about that. We’ll make that decision later in the week. But he takes very good care of himself and I’m sure he’ll be champing at the bit to get back on the field and help this team out.”
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, college and youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.