WASHINGTON — D.C. United wasted little time figuring out how to best incorporate new addition Dwayne De Rosario during his first training session with his new team Thursday morning.
The five-time All Star took part in a practice that included a full-field scrimmage, playing in midfielder between Clyde Simms and the forward pairing of Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff.
There’s every reason to believe the midfielder will play a role against Philadelphia on Saturday night (7 pm, Fox Soccer).
“[We've] got him to use him,” head coach Ben Olsen told reporters. “It’s great. He’s saying all the right things and doing all the right things right now. He’s integrated with the group right now. It’s a great addition for us.”
The 33-year-old attacking midfielder said the news of the trade caught him completely off guard, but was excited to join a club rich in tradition. And he hopes to hit the field Saturday night in front of a home crowd.
“I came here to make an immediate impact and hopefully I can do that come Saturday, whether that’s to start or come off the bench,” De Rosario said. “I’m coming here to work my butt off and to get results.”
De Rosario’s arrival came as exciting news for Davies, despite losing one of his closest friends, Dax McCarty, in the deal. He looks forward to the difference De Rosario can make in the final third.
“He’s a piece that we were lacking to really make our team that much more dangerous, that much more dynamic,” Davies told reporters. “For guys like [Wolff] and I, it’s a dream for a player like that to come to our team, because we’re strikers that love to make runs in behind, keep defenses honest.”
For the Canadian international, it’s technically his second stint with D.C. United. Back in 2000, after a two-year stay with the Richmond Kickers (then of the A-League), De Rosario was a guest player for DC during an offseason trip to El Salvador. Frank Yallop, then an assistant coach for United who was then hired by the San Jose Earthquakes, was able to acquire De Ro for the 2001 season.
Now, having finally arrived in DC more than 10 years later, he’s looking forward to coming in and look to make the impact expected from coaches, fans and teammates.
“I embrace the pressure, I like pressure,” De Rosario said. “I’m coming here not to just fill a spot but be successful and, hopefully, we can start this Saturday."
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.