|D. DE ROSARIO Top scorer in MLS|
CARSON, Calif. - No matter how many times Dwayne De Rosario changed Major League Soccer jerseys this year, he put together an MVP season in every new color.
The D.C. United midfielder was named Major League Soccer’s most valuable player yesterday, capping an unusual season in which he was traded twice.
Even while moving from Toronto FC to the New York Red Bulls to D.C. United in a three-month span, De Rosario became the league’s leading scorer with an MLS-best 16 goals and 12 assists. The 11-year MLS veteran is the first Canadian to win the award and the first player to win it from a team that missed the postseason.
“Believe me, it took a lot out of me to go out there and perform at 100 percent,’’ De Rosario said while accepting his trophy at Home Depot Center, the site of tomorrow’s MLS Cup between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. “I knew once I crossed the lines, I had to give it all for every team.’’
De Rosario received 72.72 percent of voting by media, players, and club officials, with the percentage of each group totaled. Houston’s Brad Davis was second at 43.66 percent, Dallas youngster Brek Shea finished third, and Los Angeles midfielder Landon Donovan was fourth.
De Rosario, the son of Guyanese immigrants to Scarborough, Ontario, became the second player in a North American major league to win an MVP in a season he was traded. Joe Thornton won the NHL’s Hart Trophy in the 2005-06 season after the Bruins traded him to San Jose.
Few could argue De Rosario’s credentials after a remarkable MLS career with five clubs ever since he failed to catch on in the German Bundesliga in 1998.
De Rosario is a record six-time selection for MLS’ Best XI, and he has won four MLS Cup championships - two with the San Jose Earthquakes, and two more after the franchise moved to Houston and became the Dynamo in 2006. He’s the only player to win two MLS Cup MVP awards, in 2001 and 2007.
“If I could exchange this to play on Sunday, I would in a heartbeat,’’ De Rosario said.
De Rosario finished tied with San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski for the league lead in goals, and was the only player to reach double figures in goals and assists.