D.C. United today announced that the club has acquired Alain Rochat from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for a natural second-round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and conditional pick for 2016. Rochat, though born in Canada, grew up in Switzerland and has represented the European nation at both the youth and senior international levels.
“Alain will provide us with immediate help with his experience and leadership,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper in a team release. “He is a highly technical and intelligent player who can play on the backline or in the midfield. We are very pleased to welcome Alain to D.C. United.”
The versatile defender/midfielder started his professional career with Yverdon Sport FC (Switzerland) in 1999, moving to BSC Young Boys (Switzerland) in 2002 and later featuring for Stade Rennais F.C. (France) from 2005-06 and FC Zürich (Switzerland) from 2006-2011. Rochat appeared in 117 games total for Zürich and notched seven goals for the side. Rochat also helped to guide Zürich to Swiss Super League titles in the 2006-07 and 2008-09 seasons.
The Swiss international signed with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2010, but remained on loan with Zürich for a year. In 2011, Rochat played 28 games for Vancouver, starting 27, and finished the season with three goals and one assist. The next year, Rochat played and started 27 games for the side, logging 2,323 minutes, notching two goals and two assists.
Thus far in 2013, the 30-year-old defender/midfielder has played all 12 games (11 starts) for Whitecaps FC and has featured both in the midfield and in the backline.