The massive trade, a year later
June 27, 2012
A year ago today, Dwayne De Rosario was traded for Dax McCarty. The move shocked the fanbase for numerous reasons. De Rosario, one of the best attacking players in league history, was acquired less than three months prior, and was painted by management as the missing piece of the puzzle. Now he was being sent to the most hated team of all, DC Scum. In return, Metro got McCarty, who was in the midst of a so-so season, this after being exposed by Dallas in the expansion draft and sent to DC by newly-formed Portland.
The criticism started from the onset. Erik Soler was racked for making the trade. And then, as Metro went through a summer swoon and De Rosario started scoring for the Scum, the vitriol began to boil.
At the end, De Rosario ended up leading the league in goals and captured the MVP award. But all that got for DC was another year out of the playoffs. Nevertheless, seeing such a talent being gifted to the Scum was a tough pill to swallow.
Flash forward to today.
Both teams are vastly improved from a year ago. We do not care to dissect the situation in DC, but one reason for Metro's renaissance is clearly McCarty, who has been a revelation in defensive midfield.
Last year, Metro utilized Teemu Tainio in the role, and the team was clearly hurting with the oft-injured midfielder was out. Rafa Marquez was attempted in that position, to disastrous effects. This year, after Tainio was shelved with what could be a career-ending injury, McCarty was given the chance to make the position his own. And did he ever.
Witness Metro's victory over the Scum the past weekend. Like a ferocious terrier, McCarty was all over the field, winning balls left and right. And his prowess is not just in the defensive half; he can send that killer long pass, wins more than his share of headers, and has even scored two goals, one in his recently acquired role as a target off corner kicks.
So, a year later, the trade looks much better than it initially did. And, to be honest, De Rosario was not the player here that he is with the Scum and that he has been elsewhere. Hell, what McCarty has done to this point in 2012 clearly surpasses what the supposedly superior De Rosario did for Metro in 2011.
And yet, perhaps we shouldn't evaluate this trade just yet. There's still a lot of soccer to be played for both De Rosario and McCarty, in 2012 and beyond...