With three weeks to go before the home opener [March 10th vs. Sporting KC], D.C. United's final pieces are falling into place. Moments after presenting the new DP Hamdi Salihi in a press conference on Monday afternoon, the club announced the re-signing of Dwayne De Rosario. The reigning MLS MVP has reinforced his bond with United, securing his place in DC for the foreseeable future. As the team prepares for the final stretch of preseason, De Rosario spoke about extending his deal with the club, the team's growth and what it would mean to bring a fifth MLS Cup to D.C. United.
What are your thoughts on re-signing with D.C. United?I feel good. It's nice to be with an organization that has the same goalsand ambitions as I. As I said in the past, D.C. United has a very richhistory and one that we want to relive in the near future – hopefully we canstart this year. It's a great feeling to be associated with the United family.Ever since I came here, the organization and the fans have accepted me as partof the family, and I want to keep this family growing all across the DC areaand relive those special moments.
After living in threedifferent cities last year, you can finally settle in DC. What does it mean tohave reached a permanent deal with United and what impact can it have on yourgame?
Having a permanent deal was crucial for my family and me.That stability is something I've always wanted and was looking for, and I'mvery thankful United was able to provide that. Now I can stay in one place andfocus on my football and help my kids grow and blossom in their ambitions, aswell as continuing to develop the sport across DC, Maryland and Virginia. Thatis my goal, to continue developing soccer not only in the DC area, but across the U.S., andCanada as well.
What improvementshave you seen in the team so far when compared to last year?
From last year to this year I see a lot of growth. There isa lot of potential and more experience now. There are guys that have playedin the League and have played at a high level, being through playoffs andchampionships, and know what it takes within this league to get over that hump,which I think was lacking last year. The guys we brought in are definitelyhungry and I am pleased to see that we have competition at every position. Guyswill have to fight for their spots, so that creates a good competitive andhealthy environment. I see a lot of the younger guys feeding off the experiencethat came in and the environment that the coaches have created. I think they[the coaches] have done a great job in the offseason of acquiring key playersin positions where we really needed help. I think this will be a good year forus.What is the mainfocus in these next few weeks, as you get ready for the season opener on March10th?
The main focus right now is to create that synergy withinthe team on and off the field, just continuing to understand each other moreand more and be prepared for March 10th. With all the new facescoming in we need to build a strong mold to be a strong unit going into everygame. So far, everything has been working out accordingly. Like I said, theguys that came in are very motivated and committed to the team, which is alwaysrefreshing to see. It's a great environment out there.
What are yourfeelings as you work towards bringing a fifth MLS Cup trophy to D.C. Unitedfans this season? How much would it mean to add another star above the crest?
It means everything. A championship is everything. That'swhat the whole preseason is for, that's what we train hard for – to win achampionship. That has to be our goal and that's my goal, it's my only goal.Like I said, to relive those special moments with the organization and the fansthat come out to show their support for us every week, and it starts March 10th.We need to come with the mentality that we are aiming for a championship thisyear. If we have that, a lot of good things will come.