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De Rosario hat trick paces D.C. United to 4-1 trouncing of RSL


 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/


WASHINGTON – In 65 minutes Saturday, D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario once again showed why he is one of the most prolific attacking talents MLS has ever seen. And at 33 years old, playing for his third club this season, he could very well be better than ever.

De Rosario launched himself atop the Golden Boot standings and into the thick of the MVP discussion, recording the fastest hat trick in league history as United (9-8-11) rolled to a 4-1 win over reserve-heavy Real Salt Lake (15-8-6) at RFK Stadium.

"The thing with De Ro is that I am not even surprised anymore with some of the stuff he does," United coach Ben Olsen said. "I've seen it as a fan of his and I've also seen it being on the other side for 10 years. This is what he does and this is why we wanted him. He's just been exceptional, and the guys have jumped on his back as well and rode the wave."

The Canadian assisted Andy Najar's opening strike before scoring three goals of his own in a nine-minute span, giving United a shocking 4-0 advantage 31 minutes in. De Rosario's performance came three days after his missed penalty kick cost United a win against Chivas USA.

De Rosario, who gave way to Joseph Ngwenya in the second half, has 13 goals and 11 assists on the season, including 10 tallies and six helpers in his 13 games since joining United from New York in a June trade. The hat trick was his second for United.

"I felt like I was in a good spot tonight," De Rosario said. "We were aggressive early on and it paid off. Everyone worked hard to put the team in a good position, and I was able to finish some of those chances."

The three points were particularly crucial for United (9-8-11) in its quest for a playoff bid after the club surrendered a two-goal lead to Chivas on Wednesday, settling for a draw at home.

Olsen made three changes from that match, inserting left back Marc Burch, winger Austin da Luz and central midfielder Stephen King while shifting Daniel Woolard, Santino Quaranta and Charlie Davies to the bench.

Salt Lake, on the other hand, saw its five-game winning streak snapped as regulars Jamison Olave, Will Johnson, Luis Gil, Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio were held out of the starting lineup amid a busy stretch of fixtures.

Coach Jason Kreis' side didn't get on the board until the 86th minute, when Saborio came off the bench to find a consolation goal.

"We just wanted to get a tie or a win in the second half and forget about it," Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman said. "So we did that and we ended on a positive."

Najar put United ahead when he latched onto De Rosario's tremendous diagonal ball to get behind the Salt Lake back line and rifle a shot past Nick Rimando in the 13th minute.

The De Rosario show began in earnest nine minutes later when Najar returned the favor, hitting an early service from the right flank that the forward nodded home. Five minutes later, De Rosario ran onto Josh Wolff's layoff at the top of the penalty area and curled a shot into the upper corner.

De Rosario bagged United's fourth goal when he sneaked a 30-yard free kick inside Rimando's near post. While it wasn't the most rapid-fire hat trick the league has seen — Los Angeles' Harut Karapetyan notched one in a five-minute span in 1998 — the 31st minute was the earliest in a match a player has ever gotten to three goals.

"De Ro had a special night," Wolff said. "I don't think I've seen anything like that in my 13 or 14 years. So you take your hat off to that performance."

One positive storyline that emerged from the contest for Salt Lake was the return of playmaker Javier Morales to the gameday roster for the first time since he broke his ankle in May.

With the game out of hand thanks to De Rosario's historic outing, however, Kreis opted not to use a subsitution on the Argentine.

"I felt like the game was lost and that there was probably nothing positive that could come out of playing [Morales]," Kreis said. "I felt like it was just too big of a risk. Also, frankly I kind of wanted his first minutes to be at home."


  1. Other than the dive against Chivas point to me another clear dive he has taken in a DCU uniform. Show me a DCU player other than Davies that truly deserves any degree of infamy for diving. I can list several RSL players (Saborio, Espindola, Morales) that have shown that they have no qualms about diving. Granted Davies’ dive was almost funny in how comically bad it was, but dives are dives. That said the league has a different standard than the one you claim they hold. The dive/embellishment has to effect the outcome of the game to be considered worthy of a fine and/or suspension.

  2. Credit to DC. Very good performance and Dero is one of the best MLS has to offer. In response to some earlier comments, some of the subs used are the ones we see maybe once a year. Obviously, McKenzie and Wagner shouldn’t see the field for quite a while. Really a horrific performance. I also totally agree that Alvarez is a complete bust. I’m glad that our regulars are much, much better than these scrubs, but I’m afraid Rsl blew their chance for the supporters shield.

  3. But…DC ARE divers. I AM an RSL fan, and pissed as hell at the absolute double standard the league showed this week. Swan-dive should not have even been on the field to score a hat trick BY THE LEAGUE’S OWN RULE!

    That said, RSL were outplayed front to back, and DC deserved the win.

  4. All credit to Dero he had a great match. Wonder how his match would have turned out if he would have gone up against a decent line-up from RSL. Hard to understand what Kries was thinking? Personally I have to believe he knew the SS was out of reach and that this match was a throwaway.

    Still sucked to be a fan of RSL and see them get spanked.

  5. Yeah, because 2 1/2 dives should define a team. If I defined RSL by all the dives I have seen them pull it would be about as unfair as your opinion of DCU.

  6. Yeah, you’re right, the award is DeRo’s and if you think anybody else is deserving you are a moron.

    Sarcasm aside, there really isn’t any precedent for such a thing. The only example I can think of is CC Sabathia winning the Cy Young with the Brewers. However, he was only traded once and actually produced for the Indians that season. He also dominated every start. DeRo has 6 of his 13 goals in just two games and one of those was a tie. He can win the award if he finishes the season strong and DC make the playoffs but will that actually happen?

  7. RSL Fan here. DeRo was on fire. The energy Kreis was hoping to get from tired legs did not materialize. No possession, no defensive cohesion, no closing out.

    Arcturo Alvarez is a total and complete bust.

  8. OMG what a game by DeRo…seen the highlghts 10 times…think Versus should maybe use some them in there opening for the MLS next year…incredible

  9. I hear blueberries are good for the brain. You should look into that.

    De Ro will be MVP without doubt if DC makes the playoffs. He’s carried this team since he’s arrived. Just because two teams didn’t value him doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable. Unless you think Toronto and New York are geniuses, in which case, damn.

  10. If there were such a thing as Game of the Year for a player, DeRo would have it hands down. This was probably one of the finest performances by a player in MLS History. The only thing close that I can think of what Clint Matthis’s 5 goal game years ago for the MetroStars.

    The assist on Najar’s goal was World Class. The through ball shredded the entire RSL defense. DC’s second goal was a fantastic diving header by DeRo off a wonderful driven cross by Najar. The 3rd goal was a superb shot by DeRo from 25 yards into the upper 90 that left Rimando no chance. Finally, DeRo’s hattrick came from a magnificent long range free kick that he bent over the wall and slipped in just inside the upright.

    I’m sure MLS will post the highlights from this match and I would really recommend you take a look. Wolff said he has not see a performance like this in his career and I can understand why.

  11. Obviously on nights when some of their backups contribute in a win or look good people are gonna say that they have amazing depth. But when they come out, with only 3 starters playing, and look like this its easy to write it off as the ‘reserve’ team

  12. de ro is tearing it up.

    #1 in Goals: 13
    #1 in Shots: 92
    #1 in Shots on Goal: 39
    #4 Assists: 11

    the only thing really hurting him for MVP is the fact he has moved around so much. but he sure as hell has been a major boost to DCU!

  13. De Ro was a one man wrecking crew tonight. His second and third goals were just flat impressive.

    On a related note, Yes, RSL played a lot of reserves tonight (just as the lead in article says) but i just wish there was some consistency with that issue and RSL. I mean one article says how great their ‘depth’ is and then stuff like this writes off his hat trick against a ‘reserve heavy’ RSL… so which is it? do they have depth or are their reserves scrubs??? i don’t care which you decide but just stick with a label and go with it.

  14. Diver or not, he is one of the best strikers of the ball. Remember how infatuated everyone was of Diego Forlan’s shooting ability at the 2010 WC? I believe that DeRo’s right foot is equal to that without a doubt. Wish he was a yank, he’s an awesome AM

  15. There was actual contact by Angel on De Rosario so it wasn’t a dive. It was a push from behind and duly punished. Sure, it wasn’t the most defined PK call, but it was still one nontheless

  16. I have a sudden, violent urge to buy a De Ro United jersey. Damn the cost.

    This is why we root for the same team no matter what. So you can once in a while feel like you’re brain is imploding with joy. Thank you, United.


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