100th MLS goal puts forward in elite group
Dwayne De Rosario delivered again for D.C. United, reaching new milestones with a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 2-2 draw with New York.
His daring 68th-minute strike against the Red Bulls -- a rare header as he avoided a collision with goalkeeper Bill Gaudette -- was the 100th of his MLS career. It put him in elite company alongside Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Landon Donovan, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis and Taylor Twellman.
|D.C. United at Real Salt Lake|
|When »||Saturday, 9 p.m.|
|Where »||Rio Tinto Stadium,||Salt Lake City|
"I figured I'm either going to wake up tomorrow and wonder what happened, or I'll put it in the back of the net," said De Rosario, who has 20 goals and 19 assists in 43 games since being acquired by United (12-9-5) last summer.
He also picked up his 12th assist, matching his total for last season. De Rosario is tied for second in MLS behind Seattle's Mauro Rosales and one shy of his career best of 13 for San Jose in 2005.
His remarkable production at age 34 stands in stark contrast to United's continued search for a consistent forward partner.
After the New York game, De Rosario and United coach Ben Olsen lauded the performance of Lionard Pajoy, who made his fourth start since being acquired from Philadelphia two weeks ago.
"We're very lucky we have him," Olsen said. "The amount of ground he covers is pretty impressive."
It was Pajoy's third start alongside De Rosario, tying him with Maicon Santos for the second most on the team. In De Rosario's 11 starts at forward (his other 13 have come at attacking midfielder), he has been paired with five different players, led by Hamdi Salihi (four times). Chris Pontius and Long Tan have made one start each.
But Salihi, despite five goals and a base salary of $305,000, has played only 30 minutes total in United's last six matches and 880 minutes in 18 games (10 starts). Among 26 MLS players earning at least $300,000 and on an MLS roster at the beginning of the season, only oft-injured and suspended New York defender Rafa Marquez (nine games, 607 minutes) and 36-year-old Chivas USA forward Juan Pablo Angel (16 games, 853 minutes) have played less.