The New York Red Bulls announced late on Wednesday afternoon that the club has traded Canadian international attacking midfielder Dwayne De Rosario to DC United in exchange for USA midfielder Dax McCarty. The move surprised many fans of both teams as each player had only just joined his respective club in the last few months.
DC United look to have gotten the better end of the deal, at least in the short run. Despite a disappointing stint for the Red Bulls in which he scored just two goals and laid on four assists in thirteen appearances, De Rosario has been one of the top players in MLS over the last ten years and could become a key part of the United attack. The main drawbacks of acquiring De Rosario are his age (33) and high salary requirements. Unfortunately for New York, De Rosario will have the opportunity to get back at his former employers in just over a week's time, when DC United visit Red Bull Arena on July 9th.
On the less glamorous side of the trade, Dax McCarty is a proven MLS-quality box-to-box midfielder who spent five years at FC Dallas before moving to DC United during the winter. He was one of Dallas' most important players during their run to the MLS Cup Final last season, and also has five senior-level caps for the United States. McCarty will not be available for Tuesday night's US Open Cup clash with FC New York, but could feature in the Red Bulls' match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
Although the trade appears to be both very sudden and quite unexpected, it seems that the Red Bulls' front office may be trying to free up some salary cap space in order to bring in a new goalkeeper during the summer transfer window. Greg Sutton and Bouna Coundoul have both made horrendous and costly errors in recent games, resulting in calls for a new man between the posts for New York. At the same time, the Red Bulls have picked up one of the better young midfielders in Major League Soccer while sacrificing the services of a quality -- but aging and short-of-form -- veteran #10.