Boskovic: "We have a chance to be the best in MLS"
With Branko Boskovic playing a pivotal role in the club’smidfield, D.C. United spent much of the last two months jolting up the EasternConference table. But for everycrisp pass Boskovic completed during D.C.’s recent renaissance, a questionarose about the Montenegrin's future. As his contract neared its mid-Summer expiration, it was unclear if the skillful midfielder would be around to see the full fruit of his late-Spring labor.
Now, Boskovic can finally put those questionsto rest.
“The main reason [I am staying] is because this team is verygood and we have a chance to be the best in MLS this year,” he said onThursday, shortly after coming to terms on an extension that will keep him inWashington through the rest of 2012. “I want to help the team go to playoffs and to try to win a championshipbecause in a player’s career this is what you remember.”
Boskovic’s desire to see just how far this D.C. team can gois understandable. Fresh off a 35-appearance campaign with Rapid Vienna, hearrived in MLS just in time to endure the back end of United’s worst-everseason in 2010. 2011 wasn’t muchbetter, as the midfielder tore his ACL in late April and missed the rest of theyear. The missed time cut down Boskovic's impact, and the club’s ability to evaluate him.
But, in starting each of D.C.’s three straight home wins toclose out May, Boskovic proved to be an invaluable part of manager Ben Olsen’srotation.
“As we evaluated Branko’s performance in the last two monthsit was clear that he was beginning to do some of the things on the field thatwe thought he was capable of,” said United GM Dave Kasper, who hailedBoskovic’s professionalism throughout the complex negotiations. “We haven’t really had a chance to seeBranko Boskovic, but we started to see that the last two months, and it wasimportant for us to reach an agreement to keep him here at D.C. United.”
On Thursday, Boskovic confirmed that his agent received somepreliminary interest from Greece, Germany and Austria in recent weeks. But, intent on finishing what he hashelped start here in Washington, the midfielder never allowed thoseconversations to evolve.
“I always wanted to speak first with D.C.,” Boskovic added. “In my career I always give the firstchance to the club where I am at the moment. I [wanted] to see what D.C. United wanted and what theywould offer me… the club has been so good to me and I want to give them backsomething.”