WASHINGTON – As D.C. United gear up for Saturday’s match against New England (7:30 pm ET; MLS Live), their newest player, versatile defender Alain Rochat, will make the cross-country trip to the nation’s capital and is expected to join the club next week.
In need of help at multiple positions, struggling United acquired Rochat in a trade with Vancouver on Thursday.
“He’ll be in next week,” Olsen said Friday before the team left for New England. “He helps us both on the defensive end and on the offensive end. He’s a good passer, he’s experienced, versatile. Played holding mid, left back and central defender – spots that we could use some help at.
“I think it’s a good pickup. We’re excited to have him and hopefully he feels the same.”
The club traded a natural second-round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and conditional pick in 2016 for the versatile 30-year-old. His addition allows Olsen more flexibility in choosing his starting lineup – and more quality, too.
“By watching him and speaking to people that know him pretty well, I think his two best spots are left back and holding mid. Again, two spots that we could use a little help at as far as whether competing for a starting spot or depth,” Olsen said. “In that aspect, it’s a very good pickup. We’re looking forward to him coming and getting in with the group.”
While United midfielder John Thorrington was in Vancouver from 2011-12, he played with Rochat and got to know him well.
“I spent two years with him. He’s a very classy player,” Thorrington said. “A good guy, very good professional. The coaches have brought him in here to help and I think the qualities he brings, he’ll certainly help our team.”