WASHINGTON, June 7, 2013 — In order to bolster its leaky defense that has been notorious for giving up early goals this season, D.C. United has acquired Alain Rochat from Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Rochat, 30, has played 67 games for Vancouver (4-4-4, 16 points), scoring five goals from 2011-2013. He was born in Canada but grew up in Switzerland and played one game for the Swiss national team. He is a left-sided defender, who can also push forward on the flank and play as a holding midfielder. He is known to be a calm, skillful player who has speed and a finesse.
In exchange for Rochat, Vancouver gets a natural second-round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and conditional pick for 2016.
“Alain will provide us with immediate help with his experience and leadership,” said D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper. “He is a highly technical and intelligent player who can play on the backline or in the midfield.”
D.C. United (1-10-2, 5 pts.) is currently bottom of the Eastern Conference with the worst record in MLS.
In league play, United has gone a franchise-record 11 games without a win.
Before joining Major League Soccer, Rochat played for Swiss clubs Yverdon Sport FC (1999-2002), BSC Young Boys (2002-2005) and FC Zürich (2006-2011). He did spend the 2005-2006 season playing for Stade Rennais F.C. in France.
At his time in Zürich, Rochat helped the club to win Swiss Super League titles in the 2006-07 and 2008-09 seasons.
So far this season, Rochat has played all 12 games (11 starts) for Whitecaps FC and has featured both in the midfield and in the backline.
Battling one of its worst seasons ever, United travels to play the New England Revolution on Saturday. Rochat, who earns $170,000 this season, is not available for that game but could be features in the club’s U.S. Open Cup match against the Philadelphia Union at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday evening.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email email@example.com
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