Is DeRosario most clutch player in MLS history?

DwayneDeRosarioDC1 (

Watching Dwayne DeRosario show tremendous heart and incredible ability in trying to will D.C. United to a victory on Wednesday night against Portland, soomething came to mind that I had thought about a few times before. Something about DeRosario that is probably widely-accepted as fact, but never really discussed.

Dwayne DeRosario is the most clutch player in MLS history.

Yes, the debate about best MLS player of all time could probably take long-time league observers days to debate, but when you consider the big moments in DeRosario's career, and the important goals at clutch moments that he has delivered, it's really tough to think of anybody who has come up big in as many spots in the history of MLS.

There is a reason DeRosario has four MLS Cup titles to his name, and two MLS Cup Final MVP awards in his trophy case. He has had a penchant for the dramatic going all the way back a decade, when he scored the MLS Cup-winning Golden Goal to help San Jose win the first of two championships in 2001.

It hasn't just been in big championship games. He has delivered in important matches throughout the years, and on Wednesday night against Portland, playing on what amounted to one leg, DeRosario scored an equalizer and came painfully close to producing a winning goal on multiple occasions. No, he wasn't able to lead D.C. to the playoffs, but you cannot argue that DeRosario stepped up and did his part to try and make it happen on Wednesday night.

While I may continue to question whether he is the clear-cut MVP choice in 2011 (mainly because the bulk of his accomplishments this year came in a three-month period, while he struggled for half a season), I don't have a problem saying DeRosario has an extremely strong case for being the most clutch player in league history. In that contest, he would definitely get my vote.

What do you think? Who do you consider the most clutch player in MLS history? DeRosario, or someone else?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Is DeRosario most clutch player in MLS history?

  1. Michael says:

    Is he under contract with DCU next year?

  2. prizby says:

    yes, in 09, he signed a 4 year contract with tfc, but he’ll be a 500k salary cap hit unless he is deemed a designated player

  3. Rex says:

    There is absolutely no question. He has several goals in MLS All-Star game as well has 2 goal of year awards. There was a CCL game a few years back when the Dynamo needed a late goal. DeRo just flipped a switch. He ran a player down, stole the ball, took a few touches, then blasted home the needed goal.

  4. Byron says:

    I was at that game Rex! It was an amazing feat. Loved him in Houston but he always seemed to let contract negotiations impact his play. We miss him here.

  5. Byron says:

    And i forgot to mention that we needed that win to advance in CONCACAF.

  6. jcl says:

    DeRo DP, Boskovic byebye

  7. Dennis says:

    I can’t think of a player in MLS who has taken over late in so many games to provide a game-winning goal.

  8. I says:

    Aside from the CCL match, someone needs to tell Rex the meaning of “clutch.”

    And there absolutley is question:

    Taylor Twellman
    Raul Diaz Arce
    Landon Donovan
    Jason Kreis
    Marco Etcheverry

    …and perhaps even Digital Takiwara

  9. Rev up those Revs says:

    By clutch do you mean missing PKs that would have been game winners that would have put DC on 41 points rather than 39? Just kidding, he can’t help his teammates. I’d take him on my team.

  10. Rafa Marquez says:

    Master minds at Red Bull who traded him aware for Mccarthy(who sucks so bad that he should not even try playing soccer)should be shot in their brain twice

  11. PetedeLA says:

    Just from watching the highlights I’m just amazed at his performance against Portland. Awesome play.

  12. AlexS says:

    Let’s not forget MLS Cup 2007.

  13. primoone says:

    Dwayne sucks. Thank you.

  14. isAF says:

    how come he never tried his luck in Europe? Surely he could start on any team in Denmark or Holland

  15. Irrlicht says:

    DeRo for MVP. I was there, that was an amazing display. You could tell he was hurt and was getting knocked around and he still turned it on. If Ngwenya had just buried the shot DeRo laid out in front of him it would have been a victory. Can a player traded twice in a season and whose team doesn’t make the playoffs be MVP? Why not if it’s DeRo. Was great to see Rodney Wallace on the field and realize that we essentially got DeRo for Wallace. Thanks RBNY!

  16. hendrix says:

    he’s clutch because he doesn’t perform for 90 minutes, game in game out. He shows up when the game matters, not in the dog days of summer in games that aren’t important.
    In regular games, he gets lazy, runs into dead ends, takes too many shots over the net, goes offside a lot, doesn’t pass to his teammates, etc. Then when everything looks lost, he decides he’s gonna do everything himself. Of course, if you don’t involve your teammates, and become a ball hog who tries to do everything himself, you’re going to put yourself into positions to be a so-called clutch player.

  17. kfly says:

    Nope! He Doesn’t! You’re welcome.

  18. Mongo says:

    For all the haters, I’m sure there are other teams that would take him in a heartbeat. The man is a difference maker. There are very few players league-wide that fit that bill. In fact, the league needs more of them. As for drifting in and out of games, it seems these folks haven’t paid attention over the year at players who drift in and out of games and then “BANG!” they take care of business. Anybody every heard of a guy named Van Nistelrooy or Ibrahimovic or Didier Drogba maybe?

  19. kfly says:

    Oh, yeah? Because I’m pretty sure he scored the bulk of his goals this season the “dog days of summer,” when nothing was on the line- against the likes of San Jose, New York and Toronto. On those occasions, and several others, he essentially put the team on his back and won the games for us/got a result because everyone else was flat.

  20. RK says:

    You used the all-star game as proof?

  21. boosted335 says:

    yes, pay him toronto

  22. Conrad says:

    Well, I watched him play with Red Bulls, and he did absolutely nothing. That analysis seems right. I think the thing to play for when he was dumped to DC was his pride, and that’s when he turned it on. Having seen him play a couple games and look lost in a RBNY uniform, I thought it was a good trade at first. (Not getting Dax, who has feet of concrete, but unloading his salary and his obvious — and deserved — prima donna air.) Clearly, it turned out to be a bonus for DC. Except, it is a little weird to call him the most clutch player in MLS after he fails to get the team into the playoffs….

  23. mikey says:

    I think he’s one of the best in MLS, but he’s not MVP.

    How valuable is he to DCU if they don’t even make the playoffs? How about guys like Davis who are literally responsible for helping the team qualify for playoffs?

  24. fischy says:

    Well, let’s put it this way:

    That spectacular play DeRo made, taking the ball away from Perkins’ clutches, while at full stride and then turning to deliver the shot on frame — if Brunner doesn’t get his arm up and get away with blocking the shot with his arm, that shot goes in and wins the game for DC. If the team had gone on to make the playoffs, DeRo might have won MVP on that play alone…not to mention all his other heroics in the last 20 minutes…and everything else he has done in a DCU kit this year.

  25. fischy says:

    Having said that, there’s no way the MVP award goes to a player on a team that doesn’t even make the playoffs, but DeRo was the best in the league this year….and, yes, he’s very, very clutch.

  26. Will says:

    I say yes for most clutch given his playoff record, that’s what really counts when you’re talking about clutch.

    As for MVP, I dont think you can give it to him even though he has the best stats in the league (and I’m a DC fan). If DC made the playoffs, then its his. Hard to argue for someone whose team couldn’t find a way to the top 10 of an 18 team league…

  27. boosted335 says:

    play him NY

  28. markVA says:

    marco etcheverry or landon donovan. angle during his prime maybe

  29. markVA says:


  30. adam says:

    16 goals, 12 assists – should not even be a debate for MVP…

    other guys scored goals (wondo) and other guys had assists (beckham/davis) but none of them combined to factor in as many goals for their team. i dont want to hear the excuses of “penalty kicks!” b/c guys miss them (cough cough henry) or “dog days or summer” – thats all BS – the bottom line is that he was the most impactful player for any team this season

  31. b says:

    Uhh I think he means on top of everything else.
    It’s a big game with a national tv audience and the best players in the league against a relatively big foreign opponent, I think it’s at least worth mentioning in this discussion even if it is an exhibition.

  32. Berlin says:

    You said Taylor Twellman. Your argument is invalid.

  33. b says:

    I think MVP is fairly clear. Who cares if he didn’t quite carry his team to the playoffs, he doesn’t have nearly the same talent around him as candidates from teams like Seattle and LA.

    When we look back on the 2011 MLS season which players will we remember?

    1. DeRo
    2. Rosales
    big gap
    3. Shea
    big gap
    Davis, Gonzales, etc.

  34. JJ says:

    If your team doesn’t make the playoffs in MLS, you can’t be the MVP. Everybody makes the playoffs.

    MVP is Freddy Montero – 17 goals, 10 assists

  35. k says:

    players that win will be remembered.

  36. Eurosnob says:

    Sour grapes from NY. DeRo won four MLS cups (MLS cup MVP twice). How many MLS cups have NYRB won? As for faulting DeRo for DCU not making the playoffs, it is silly. I don’t know what more DeRo could have done – he scored clutch goals (leads the league in total goals) and had plenty of assists (10 assists, just one assist behind Beckham and Davis, who lead the league). The reason that DCU is not in playoffs, is their inexperienced defense that leaks goals, and not DeRo’s inability to score clutch goals.

  37. Eurosnob says:

    Or if the ref calls the handball, award a penalty kick, and gives Brunner the red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.

  38. Machista Gay says:

    How bad is DC without DeRo? Exhibit A: Negwenya! (Not good enough for me to even to learn how to spell his name)

  39. cajun says:

    DeRo playing for 3 teams this year, 2 and possibly a 3rd of which not qualifying for the playoffs in a parity laden league, clutch? Or even in a discussion for MVP?….I think not

  40. Eurosnob says:

    Correction, I looked at the old stats for assists. Actually, DeRo is currently fourth with 12 assists, behind just behind Beckham, Davis and Rosales – not a bad company.

  41. Charles says:

    IMHO he is the most clutch player in MLS history. Big moments by him will be remembered for many decades.

    He is not this years MVP however.

  42. K-Town says:

    ABSOLUTELY the most clutch player in MLS history. I even go as far to say the best player MLS has ever had as far as a career goes.

  43. Mike says:

    Who cares if his team didnt make the playoffs, certainly not his fault. MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. Lets look at the record of RBNY when Dero was there and since. Then lets take a look at DC’s record pre-Dero and since Dero. Pile that on with his ridiculious numbers and that is the epitome of an MVP.

  44. PseudoNEmous Commenter says:

    Here’s your sine.

  45. MVP says:

    I think De Rosario is the most clutch player in league history, but not this years MVP. The last three months for DCU he showed that he is clutch but his team didn’t make the playoffs therefore for no reason should he win MVP.

    I think Brad Davis should win MVP, without him Houston would be completely lost. Also he has something like 120 chances created for his team compared to the nearest player in the league who has something near 70. I’m not really sure how the media continues to ignore Davis in the MVP race.

  46. srfinger says:

    He scored the winner against a stacked Chelsea team in a match that was taken quite seriously.

    Yes, it was absolutely a HUGE clutch goal.

  47. Naboo says:

    Spencer’s post-match comments mean more than all the haters above. right now he’s the mvp “by a country mile”, however other players can make their cases with some fine playoff performances.

    as for best/most clutch MLS player of all time…moreno, marco, de. ro., it’s very close but i’d give it to dwayne…He should be the poster boy of MLS, not donovan/beckham/henry…many think he would be if he were A) white B) not canadian

  48. VADCUfan says:

    Every bottom ten team in the EPL should be kicking themselves that they didn’t pick him up after 2007.

  49. VADCUfan says:

    17 goals? 10 assists? Where are you getting your numbers from?

  50. VADCUfan says:

    To be fair, he is 4th on the depth chart at striker, and if you include Pontius, DeRo, and Tino as midfielders that are solid when slotted up top, then he’s something like 7th after CD9, Wolff, BlakeBrett., DeRo, Pontius, Tino, Ngwenya.

  51. VADCUfan says:

    Your first point of multiple teams is B.S., but the playoff part does essentially disqualify him. That said, if MLS had a player of the season award he would get it hands down.

  52. jcl says: