In a surprise move following the club's struggles with the Gold Cup and injuries depleting their roster, the New York Red Bulls traded attacking midfielder and five-time MLS All-Star Dwayne De Rosario to conference rival D.C. United in exchange for midfielder Dax McCarty on Monday.
De Rosario arrived via trade with Toronto FC on April 1 with expectations of fortifying a Red Bulls attack that struggled to find its form in the early parts of the season. He presently shares a three-way club lead in assists with three, sharing the top spot with Thierry Henry and Jan Gunnar Solli. The Canadian midfielder also has two goals this season, both of which represent the only converted penalty kicks by the Red Bulls in 2011.
McCarty arrives with two assists in thirteen appearances for D.C. this season and with a reputation that's less-attacking minded and more distribution-oriented than De Rosario. McCarty joined D.C. after being traded by the Portland Timbers, who selected him in the expansion draft from FC Dallas following the Texas side's runner-up appearance in the MLS Cup championship match in 2010.
“Dax is an exciting young player who will immediately add his dynamic style of play to our midfield,” said Red Bulls GM Erik Solér in a statement released by the team. “He is an excellent two-way player who will contribute both to our defense and to our attack for seasons to come.”
“To acquire such a promising player, we had to make a difficult decision in trading Dwayne. During his short time in New York, Dwayne has been a consummate professional. We wish him the best of luck in D.C.”
Solér indicated to MLSsoccer.com earlier this month that he expected to shuffle the Red Bulls' roster in the near future. Among his comments, Solér specifically identified the club's interests in speaking with De Rosario about a contract extension upon his return from international duty with Canada at the Gold Cup.
“When he’s back, we will speak to him to see where he’s at and what is possible,” Solér said to MLSsoccer.com on June 14. “We hope, of course, that we can have him for more years.”
McCarty is expected to join the Red Bulls as they head west to face the San Jose Earthquakes this weekend.