D.C. United hoped they’d be getting some extra punch to their offense when they acquired Dwayne De Rosario last month.
On Saturday night, he showed exactly why United wanted him. The veteran attacker scored twice in the second half to lead DC to another valuable road win, a 2-0 defeat of the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.
“He’s a special player,” defender Dejan Jakovic told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “I was really excited when I first heard we got him because I know what he’s capable of doing, and that’s exactly what he did.”
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After the two sides entered the half at the break, De Rosario took over in the 57th minute. Andy Najar sent in a ball over the top towards the Canadian star and chasing Earthquakes center back Nana Attakora slipped, allowing De Rosario to run onto the ball and curl it into the upper right hand corner of Jon Busch’s net.
Ten minutes later, he struck again. DeRo collected the ball with his back to the San Jose goal and played a no-look pass to Chris Pontius toward the left corner flag. He then snuck into the penalty area unmarked, and Pontius slid the ball back through San Jose’s defense for him to side-foot home into the upper corner.
“[Pontius] made a great run and provided another great ball across the box,” De Rosario said. “He found himself in a good area, it was a great pass and I tried to keep it on frame and put it far post.”
But it wouldn’t be easy after De Rosario doubled the lead, as Najar was sent off for a last-man foul on Joey Gjersten. That meant DC’s defense had to hold the lead and close the game with 10 men.
“We were under a lot of pressure playing a man down,” Jakovic said. “We pinched in and I thought our shape was great.”
They held firm in the face of adversity however, as Jakovic — making his first start since May 29 — finished the 90 minutes and paired well with Brandon McDonald to limit any dangerous chances San Jose might hope to get with the advantage in numbers.
“We were put in a tough spot, but we held our ground and fought all game. It’s nice to leave with a clean sheet,” Jakovic said.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.