To say D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario has had a big year would be like saying the Arctic gets chilly in the winter.
The 33-year-old perennial All Star recorded 16 goals and 12 assists this season, good enough to claim the MLS Golden Boot award as top scorer. Despite his illustrious career, this year marks the first time he has earned the award.
And he did it while spending time at three different clubs in 2011.
“It definitely was a difficult year in terms of all that relocation and going from Toronto to New York and New York to D.C.,” De Rosario told reporters in a conference call on Friday. “The relocations and learning to work with different players was something that I had to overcome.”
Despite logging all those extra miles, the Canadian international was able to gel quickly with his teammates in D.C. and become the focal point of a potent offense that included the likes of Andy Najar, Charlie Davies and Chris Pontius. His exploits in his half-season with the Black-and-Red have led to talk of him once again being in the running for MLS MVP.
De Rosario, however, lamented the fact that D.C. missed the postseason, saying that his individual efforts were simply by-products of a team hungry for success.
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” he said of his big numbers this season. “We weren’t able to make the playoffs. On a personal note, I think I was pleased at my year and I really tried to do everything in my power to help push the team to a playoff spot.”
Added into the mix was an up-and-down year for the Canadian national team, with whom De Rosario has played for more than a decade. A disappointing Gold Cup was followed by a promising start to World Cup qualification in which Canada can clinch a spot in the 2012 portion of CONCACAF’s qualifying tournament in a pair of games vs. St. Kitts and Nevis in November.
“We’re looking forward to getting the business done in this next round [of games] and move on to the next round of the group stages,” De Rosario said. “We can’t look past St. Kitts. Obviously, they’re a team that are in a good position as well, so we definitely can’t take them lightly.
“We just need a point [to advance],” De Rosario added, “but it would be nice to get a win or two out of the two games.”
Along with the MLS Golden Boot and possible league MVP honors, De Rosario can also move ahead of former Canadian head coach Dale Mitchell as Canada’s all-time scoring leader. The four-time MLS Cup winner is just one goal behind Mitchell, and he can grab sole possession of the top spot with a pair of goals for Canada in November.
Doing so would cap an incredible year of personal accolades for a player who seems to get better every year.
“I’m very proud of the position I’m in right now, to have received the Golden Boot and be up for a possible MVP award,” De Rosario said. “If I could accomplish the Canadian scoring title, that would be huge for me.”