Just a few days after setting an MLS record for fewest wins in a season, D.C. United wasted no time in beginning its rebuild. The team announced Thursday it will not bring back captain Dwayne De Rosario for the 2014 season.
“We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions to our team over the past three seasons,” said general manager Dave Kasper. “He was instrumental in helping the club reach the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship Series, as well as winning this year’s U.S. Open Cup. This was a difficult decision to make, but it was one that we felt was best for our team to move forward into next season and beyond. We wish Dwayne all the best with his future.”
De Rosario’s contract included a team option for next season, but after scoring only three goals and two assists as the team’s highest paid player, D.C. United was likely to decline that option for another year. The real story is that the team has opted not to offer De Rosario a lower deal, thus ensuring the captain’s armband will be passed to another in 2014.
De Rosario tweeted this Wednesday evening:
Walked out of the stadium while this was happening! Always appreciated the support from all the fans… http://t.co/E4ONrN4pXW— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) October 31, 2013
D.C. United acquired De Rosario in 2011 in a trade with New York. In that year, he was named the Volkswagen MLS MVP and earned the MLS Budweiser Gold Boot for 16 goals. In 2012, he was named captain and was on pace for another strong season before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
D.C. United will also be without three other veteran players next year as the team announced it has declined the options for Lionard Pajoy, Marcelo Saragosa, and Carlos Ruiz.
“We would like to thank Lio, Marcelo and Carlos for their service to the club, and we wish them the best of luck in the future,” said general manager Dave Kasper.
Pajoy came to the Black-and-Red in 2012 thanks to a trade with Philadelphia. He had 10 goals and three assists in 52 appearances. Saragosa signed with the team in February and recorded a goal and an assist in 24 appearances. D.C. United acquired Ruiz through the MLS allocation process on Feb. 20. He made only 13 appearances.