Danny O’Rourke has long been known as a tenacious ball-winner in midfield whose defensive ability can stifle an opposing attack. Columbus is banking on O’Rourke carrying those qualities to the back-line.
O’Rourke saw time at left back, right back and central defense for the Crew last season and is set for a permanent move to the back in 2008.
"His strength as a midfielder has always been defending and being a ball-winner and I think he can carry that over to the back," Schmid said. "I also think it can help his offensive game moving back a level. That is something you see in players that make that move and he is capable."
The Crew’s acquisition of former D.C. United defensive midfielder Brian Carroll will allow O’Rourke to slide into a defensive rotation alongside Marcos Gonzalez and Chad Marshall. Schmid stated that both Gonzalez and Marshall will be back in 2008. Gonzalez had been rumored to be returning to South America while Marshall’s future had been in some doubt because of concussions he suffered last season.