De Rosario named MLS MVP

DwayneDeRosarioDC1 (

D.C. United star Dwayne DeRosario has enjoyed one of the best careers in MLS history and is widely regarded as one of the best players the league has ever seen. He has won multiple championships, and most recently a Golden Boot, but the one honor he hadn't won before was MLS Most Valuable Player.

That changed on Friday as De Rosario was named MLS MVP, beating out Houston's Brad Davis, FC Dallas' Brek Shea and LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan for the honor, MLS revealed on Friday morning.

De Rosario finished the year with a league-leading 16 goals to go with 12 assists, statistics compiled with three different teams, though most of his stats came with D.C. United, which he brought to the brink of the playoffs.

De Rosario finished in first in MVP voting by a comfortable margin, topping the lists in voting among MLS team officials, media and players (for a combined score of 72.72). Davis finished second with a combined voting tally of 43.66, while Shea garnered 27.59. Shea finished second in the player voting, with Davis finishing tied for third with Landon Donovan.

What do you think of De Rosaro winning the award? Who had your MVP vote?

Share your thoughts below.

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80 Responses to De Rosario named MLS MVP

  1. KevDC says:

    And he won all three categories of voters: Club reps, players and media. I guess it was only MLS fans online who thought you had to make the playoffs to win MVP.

    Congrats, DeRo!

    Thanks, Red Bulls!

    Vamos United!

  2. Joe G says:

    He should not have won, but what does it matter really. There is no value in Dwayne for DC. They won exactly one more game with him than without him and missed the playoffs.

  3. JoeW says:

    Very interesting MVP race this year–so many diverse candidates and a lot of player (Brad Davis for instance) who made a big difference to their teams.

    But DeRo WAS the offense for DCU and as John Spencer said, he was clearly the best player in MLS with tons of clutch goals.

  4. FCBTony says:

    Congrats to DeRo for a great year – but how can you be MVP when not one but two teams move you in a year? In most leagues, that could not even happen…

    Hopefully this will further fire up the Dynamo to win Sunday night – Davis should have been MVP and Kinnear Coach of the Year…

  5. cfig says:

    I guess a lot of this comes down to how you vote for your MVP.

    Without DeRo DC goes from bad to really bad. Without Brad Davis the Dynamo don’t come close to making the MLS Cup.

  6. Tony in Quakeland says:

    He’d of gotten my vote. 16/12 is pretty impressive, He shouldn’t lose votes because Hans Backe’s a clown

  7. gas huffer says:

    Congrats to him. Enjoyed watching him play when he was in NY, wish he’d stayed. Still couldn’t pull that DespiCable new team of his into the playoffs.

    ¡Dalé Metro!

  8. Mig22 says:

    It’s the age-old MVP question, right? Valuable to the team? Valuable in just being the best player? Even valuable to the League and over time.

    Good job by DeRo, awesome season. You can’t say it was a bad choice with his numbers even if some might have picked Davis. Good race this year.

  9. prizby says:

    look at what Toronto and NYRB were able to do by moving DeRo; it was a necessity, not something they wanted to do and the problem enlies the league and its salary cap.

    NYRB, for instance, had a massive issue; Before DeRo had been traded, they had gone 10 straight games without a clean sheet. They had a very leaky goal. DeRo, has never been known as a defensive player. So they free up some cap room and got a more defensive Dax McCarthy. Then they go sign Frank Rost (who I don’t think worked out as well as they hoped), but they had an issue on the goals against chart and DeRo (more due to salary in a salary cap league).

    TFC was always in a rebuilidng mode as Winter said at the beginning, between last years cheque signing and a 33 year old not really wanting to adapt to a dramatic system change, he was already two steps out the door before the season started. Freeing up the cap space in the DeRo trade resulted in signing TFC’s MVP, Torsten Frings, and TFC’s Golden Boot Winner, Danny Koevermans, who btw considering all player who played at least 700 minutes, had the best goal scoring rate per 90 minutes at 0.95…the next best was 0.58

  10. Udo says:

    What are the chances he’s off to another team next year?

  11. Irrlicht says:

    To look at it another way–how could two teams be short-sighted enough to trade the eventual MVP? DeRo deserves this hands down.

  12. Sean says:

    Most Outstanding Player, certainly not Most Valuable Player. Of the three finalists, I would have selected Brad Davis. His contributions have his team on the cusp of a third MLS Cup and only Beckham is as dangerous as Davis on set pieces.

  13. Irrlicht says:

    Pretty slim– he likes DC, Olsen knows how to coach him and use him in the offense. DC has a strong, rising young core that he can lead to great places. He fits in to DC and he and DC both recognize that.

  14. yankiboy says:

    DeRo had a great year in what–three different cities and two different countries? And he had international duty.

    I’m really surprised that they didn';t give it to Beckham just to try stroke his ego a little bit (more) with the hopes that he would stay.

  15. Huey says:

    For me, he loses votes because, statistically speaking, he did not make a significant difference for his team. Sure he helped win games, but DC were already winning those games before him. Before DeRo, DCU had 18 points. After DeRo, they finished with 21 points AND missed the playoffs again.

    Last I checked, the point of playing in the MLS is to make the playoffs and win the cup. So, what exactly is DeRo so valuable for this year if the team wallowed again in the bottom half of the table?

    That said, I do find it appalling that DeRo has never won an MVP award, especially for his years with the Dynamo so he does deserve one, just not this year. For all the “clutch” goals that DeRo scored, Davis delivered the Dynamo to the Cup Final. Can’t overlook that.

  16. Rev up those Revs says:

    Why doesn’t MLS just create an MOP award. DeRo was by far the most outstanding player this year but in my opinion his value was just empty calories.

  17. Poo says:

    It just feels wrong that a guy can win MVP when on 3 teams.

  18. Adam M. says:

    I think this is pretty ridiculous. DeRo had a good run in the last third of the season, but he was traded twice before that and was underperforming for much of the year, and his third team still didn’t make the playoffs, meaning his stats were too spread out (or too backloaded) to actually matter all that much. Davis should have won it, but if getting a team close to playoff contention is a factor, that Henry wasn’t near the top of the discussion is nonsensical given the number of critical goals he scored for RB (not from the penalty spot) this year, a team that actually made the playoffs.

  19. Annelid Gustator says:

    I don’t see it, but congrats to DeRo. There’s just no denying that he’s a fantastic player.

  20. Rev up those Revs says:

    He is the first player in MLS history to win the MVP despite his team not making the playoffs and the first player in any North American league to win the MVP award in a season he was traded twice.

    I just hope people voted for him because they thought he was the 2011 MVP and not because he hadn’t won it yet. He’s too good to get a sympathy vote for lifetime achievement.

  21. thespecialone says:

    MeRo was all of DC’s offence and the only reason they finished where they did.

  22. USAHammerFan says:

    Didn’t DC’s points per match rate drop after he joined? And weren’t close to half his goals from 3 matches. And weren’t the rest when DC was already up in the match? If not, most were I believe. (didn’t look it up, just going off memory)

  23. shane says:

    He’s a great player but not the right choice for MVP this year. Makes no sense.

  24. toto says:

    De Ro was traded twice, which means he couldn’t be most valuable. What team would get rid of their most valuable player? I don’t care if it’s for cap reasons — teams find ways to keep good players and jettison the less valuable ones.

    Prob with De Ro is he’ll take a team on his back, but he won’t play within the team concept. It’s like doing drugs — De Ro gives you that quick hit and the quick high, but in the long run you’re screwed.

  25. Charles says:

    I would have picked Davis, but the fact that he has not won MVP before is a little insane.

    Glad to see him win.

  26. Eurosnob says:

    The value is there. DCU lost a bunch of games toward the end of the season, when Pontius went down with an injury. However, with both DeRo and Pontius they were on a roll. What you should compare are the results with both DeRo and Pontius in the line up with the results when one of those was missing.

  27. fischy says:

    He’d have gotten your vote.

  28. fischy says:

    Or he’d’ve, if you can stand how funny it looks. Not He’d of, which is meaningless.

  29. fischy says:

    ” What team would get rid of their most valuable player? ”

    Poorly run teams.

  30. DC Josh says:

    The media, players, and officials have spoken. Seems a bit of a farce, just like the All-Star selections each year. Oh well.

  31. Poo says:

    exactly. if he was that valuable he wouldnt have been traded. The guy just had a hot streak for a handful of games.

  32. hogatroge says:

    I would have still gone with Davis based on his contributions to team success, but I can’t hate on a former Dynamo player.

  33. Matt says:

    Here’s what I don’t like:

    1) Just because he was traded twice, it doesn’t mean he’s automatically disqualified from being the MVP. He didn’t fit in with Toronto or New York, but he fit with DC. To be fair, it isn’t easy to commandeer Toronto, and New York was so top heavy that they needed defense, so it was unlikely that he’d be the Messi of the team. But at DC, he gave DC so many points (a lot singlehandedly) and he gave DC the chance to make the playoffs. If DC hadn’t lost Boskovic, Jakovic, Pontius, etc, it might have been a different season.

    2) Just because DC missed the playoffs, that again doesn’t mean that he’s disqualified from being the MVP. It’s not the Most Valuable Playoff Player award. It’s the award for the player who made the most importance to his team. Kudos to Brad Davis and Brek Shea, they really did have good seasons. De Rosario had 16 goals and 12 assists. That’s almost 30 individual contributions to the team. Brad Davis was around 4/16 and Brek Shea was around 11/4, which are also respectable, but in my opinion are not as big as the contribution De Ro had to all 3 teams.

    I personally believe that De Ro deserved it. I may be a little biased as I am a DC United fan, but I do not believe that most of the arguments against De Rosario are solid and can be held up.

  34. Eurosnob says:

    If that is your logic, then was Davis’ season meaningfully better than Beckham’s season? They are separated by a single assist and their teams will play each other in the MLS Cup final. DeRo is the one who was clearly the best – the vote by players, coaches and media was not even close. He is the only one to have both goals and assists in the double digits. Barely missing the playoffs with the DCU is not DeRo’s fault – he played on a team that was ravaged by injuries and started several rookies on the backline through most of the season season. It is not DeRo’s responsibility, whether he plays as a striker or as attacking midfielder, to shore up the back four that leaked goals.

  35. Eurosnob says:

    Adam, I agree that Henry should have been in contention. However, I disagree with your take that DeRo’s win is ridiculous. The MLS players, coaches and sports media overwhelmingly voted for him. And Bin Haman was not involved in the process.

  36. Huey says:

    I do put Davis’ season as more meaningful than Beckham’s. I was surprised, actually, to not see Beckham over Donovan. But ultimately, I feel that, considering the Galaxy’s position last year compared to the Dynamo’s, that Houston has made massive strides toward performing better and getting to a Cup final after missing the playoffs entirely last season. The main factor for that success is Brad Davis. That’s where my vote goes.

    As for DeRo, I understand his stats, but I feel his two hat-tricks skew them. They’re great accomplishments, yes, but they do well to pad his totals, as well. I think assists and chance creation (that last stat is particularly important) are the keys to being “valuable” for your team. Going by that metric, DeRo’s assists are, indeed impressive, but Davis’ chance creation was unrivaled the entire year. As of late September, Davis created more than 100 chances for his team (pre-playoffs). This was more than 40 more than any other player in the league. Beckham, at that rate, had created only 40 total chances for his team.

    I think I pin it down to having Brad Davis, and the Dynamo as a team, being overlooked for much of the season, until their final playoff push after the win in Portland. That is what I contribute to Davis’ shorting.

  37. Will says:

    This was well deserved.

  38. Kevin_Amold says:

    Exactly. That’s why MVP votes are so interesting. Sometimes the best player on the best team wins it. Sometimes a good player on a team that really improves when he arrives wins (See Nash, Steve 2004-2005 season). Sometimes a really amazing statistical performance on a mediocre or losing team can be rewarded.

    I don’t think any one philosophy for voting for MVP is correct or even more widely held than the others.

  39. Matt in Detroit says:

    Big year for American/canadians candidates. Usually this list is dominated by foreigners (I really don’t count Canadians as foreigners as they have three teams in the league next year).

  40. sammysounder says:

    I think the league just commented on the people who decided to move him on as much as on Dero.

  41. chupacabra says:

    How to win MLS VIP – get traded amongst three teams so you can face the highest potential number of crappy, bottom feeding teams and score lots of goals against them while avoiding the better teams during the season.

  42. Paul says:

    Man, why can’t RBNY get great players like this?

    Wait, what?

  43. David St. Hubbins says:

    actually I would say moving Geoff Cameron from midfield to centerback was more influential in Houston making the playoffs than Brad Davis.

  44. Irrlicht says:

    Look at DeRo’s assists, he made a young team better and played a strong leadership role. We’ll see what happens next year but so far results are good. Plus DeRo had a pretty good long run with the Clash/Quakes/Dynamo, they seemed to be pretty strong teams

  45. Irrlicht says:

    yep– that RSL team he got the sublime hat trick against– complete bottom feeders those guys…

  46. Kevin_Amold says:

    Baseball teams do this all the time though. Once they know they aren’t going to contend, they try to unload some good players and get out from under contracts to clear up payroll to have a go the next year or to give younger players a go to see if they’re any good.

    Value is an interesting concept and I think it’s a little bit different than just pure skill. Would Gareth Bale be very valuable at Stoke City? Maybe, but is the same player more valuable at Spurs? I’d say absolutely.

  47. Vic says:

    Both Davis and Derosario are vastly underpaid. Shame neither one went to Europe.

  48. Olly says:

    Wouldn’t that make Pontius the team’s MVP?

  49. PetedeLA says:

    Thank you.

    If nothing else, he would certainly get my vote solely based on “Wow” factor.

    I see Brad Davis (who, all things considered perhaps “should” have won), but I don’t see him really dominating matches the way DeRo did.

    If Brad Davis was on a crappy team with a bunch of guys who are useless at finishing crosses (Chivas USA for instance) his contribution would be less noteworthy. DeRo made an impact on every team. Just a matter of degrees.

  50. Khan says:

    Hans Backe is a clown. That is all.

  51. Vic says:

    Both played on Red Bulls/Metrostars at one point.

  52. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Native New Yorker. Idiomatic speech. I was being deliberately colloquial. Just offering the pedantic a chance to chime in.

  53. JoeW says:

    That’s an uninformed response. Last two months of the season, Jakovic and Pontius were both gone, the defense was a sieve and Davies never recovered from his injury against Columbus–his form was terrible the last 2 months and he ended up on the bench.

    Every team that played DCU knew that if they stopped DeRo then they easily beat DCU. And yet most teams struggled to stop him.

  54. JoeW says:

    First, I understand the rationale for trading DeRo from both Toronto and NYRB. TFC was rebuilding from the ground up and moving him created cap room. NYRB wanted cap room as well (though it should be noted that NYRB was on a roll when DeRo was there, they traded him and had 2 months of down play be Backe decided to play a far more defensive/physical style).

    Second, it’s simplistic to say DCU didn’t make the playoffs so DeRo wasn’t that valuable. DCU was historically BAD in 2010. Najar and Allsop tied for the team lead with 5 goals a-piece. Quaranta led the team in assists with 2. They added Davies who had some lovely games but was incredibly inconsistent as a player and didn’t really contribute the last 2 months. The defense still had problems (2nd worst in MLS this year). Yet the team went from the worst in MLS to one that was in the playoff hunt until the last week. What could you attribute that to? It wasn’t defense. Davies and Pontius were non factors the last 2 months, Boskovic missed almost the entire season. If it wasn’t DeRo, then who on offense would you say kept DCU in games and in the playoff hunt?

    I can understand arguments in favor of other candidates. What I don’t get is bashing any of them. I can argue for DeRo but that doesn’t make Davis an unworthy candidate. The strong opinion within the league (players and staff) was that DeRo was massive this year. Spencer himself said that it would be crazy if DeRo didn’t win. This guy put the team on his shoulders and carried them to playoff contention.

  55. mattoomba says:

    Exactly. DeRo was simply outstanding, like he has been in several other seasons. I’d love to have him on my team. He can change a match single-handedly, and has done so on many occasions through the years. But he added little value to his team and, by definiton, couldn’t be the Most Valuable Player.

  56. KevDC says:

    “if he was that valuable he wouldnt have been traded. The guy just had a hot streak for a handful of games.”

    And yet shockingly, the people who do this for a living (players, club reps, and soccer media) disagreed with you hands down.

    I’m sure you’re still right, though. 😉

  57. KevDC says:

    Yeah, and then trick all those know-nothing MVP voters who play in, work for, or write about MLS to vote for you! LOL.

  58. KevDC says:

    I think Paul might have known that…

  59. JoeW says:

    First, DeRo was man of the match 7 times after joining DCU. That does not sound like an inconsistent player to me.

    Second, he scored 3 game winning goals for DCU. He provided 4 game winning assists. Let’s put that another way, he scored or assisted the critical goal on all of DCU’s wins after he arrived.

    But hey, here’s what John Spencer said: “If [De Rosario] doesn’t get MVP of the league, there’s something wrong. Plain and simple. For the last three months of the season since he came here (DC) he’s been the best player in the league by far – a country mile. He needs to win MVP.”

    Here is what Henry said: “In this league I haven’t seen anybody better than Dwayne De Rosario…For me, he’s the face of this league”.

  60. JoeW says:

    That’s circular logic.

    He’s a bad player. How do we know that? B/c he was traded and no team would trade a good player.

    But we see good players traded all the time.

    DeRo did fine as both a goal scorer and assist/distributor.

  61. abc says:

    It’s just a few fans online, not the majority, and they are idiots. DeRo is not a GM, he is not responsible for the overall quality of the team, and whether they are good enough to make the playoffs or not.

  62. abc says:

    Eric Soler must have been the one to trade him away, no? They’re both far worse than mere clowns.

  63. Ricky B. Free says:

    Brad davis was so valuable to his team that they won the East Finals without him. Another player on his team made an excellent cross for the goal. How ironic.

    DeRo made plays in the run of play that Davis would only dream of.

  64. Paul says:

    Affirmative — though I was unaware that De Ro was good enough to count as two players (“[b]oth”).

  65. Ricky B. Free says:

    I think that the players know more than most of us. Player voting says it all. DeRo deserves it.

  66. Scott e Dio says:

    Hopefully, MLS gave the DeRosario a bonus without salary cap issues. All MLS season MVP deserve a bonus at least 200k.

  67. Eurosnob says:

    No, this does not make Pontius an MVP – the best results came when BOTH Pontius and DeRo were in the line up. What JoeG fails to the account is how many quality players (Pontius is one of them) DCU lost to injury. Having to start several rookies down the stretch and having to play several players out of their natural positions, as DCU did, usually results in rookie mistakes and losses.

  68. VADCUfan says:

    Bad use of statistics, correlation does not equal causation and there are plenty of actual reasons why DCU did not make the playoffs and none of them include Dero.

  69. VADCUfan says:

    Uh, CD9- 11 goals, Chris Pontius- 7 goals 5 assists, Andy Najar- 5 goals 6 assists, Josh Wolff- 5 goals 7 assists. That’s a significant amount of goals, and no, the reason we finished where we did was almost entirely due to defensive mistakes.

  70. ThaDeuce says:

    Congrats DeRo! You earned it!

  71. prizby says:

    you are being short sighted…had TFC not traded DeRo, TFC would have never signed Frings and Koef, TFC would have never qualified for the quarter finals of CONCACAF Champions League

  72. prizby says:

    this is the reality of a guy making $500,000 a year on a 2.65 million dollar salary cap.

    New York does not trade him if they have salary cap space to plug that leak in the thing called a goal (ala Frank Rost, which I don’t think worked out as good as they hoped).

    Toronto does not trade him if the salary cap allows them to sign Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans without going over the cap. Freeing up some cap room allowed them to bring in those two players, which ultimately had a great effect on them making the CONCACAF Champions League Quarter-Finals

    He gets a “valuable” vote from Toronto just for being able to free up that cap room

  73. prizby says:

    the reality of the MLS Salary Cap is the reason DeRo was traded twice this year

  74. prizby says:

    you don’t care if its about cap reasons…well wake up, that is the reality. His cap hit is 18.6% of the salary cap. DeRo was very valuable to Toronto, his move led to Toronto bringing in Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans. Without those two, Toronto never would have made the CONCACAF Champions League Quarter-Finals.

  75. D.S. says:

    And Henry says that DeRo should be the face of this league.

  76. D.S. says:

    Right, toto, that’s how he won multiple MLS Cups, by ignoring his team.

  77. D.S. says:

    This is the kind of creative thinking the league needs — anyone who works his way to be an MVP or a Golden Boot winner should be rewarded in creative ways. Kudos to your idea — please do write to Mr. Garber.

  78. Edwin in LA says:

    Dude I love Barca too, but you are dreaming if you think Kinnear deserves to be Coach of the Year, what tha hell has he done? Other then get lucky at the end of the year?

    If Dallas wasn’t such a choker they would of never won their 1st road game until Portland and in that game Hall prevented them from going down or Portland pulling back or tying the game.

    I love him and I will admit I was one of the ones calling Glenn Davis’ radio show (Dynamo commentator and writer) but it was because of stubborn decisions like keep playing Freeman when he was obviously headed for a “he’s getting waived or traded” kind of season and also kept playing Cameron at Center mid when it was obvious the defense needed to be shored up.

    Especially with Taylor there and Sarkodie and Ashe not to mention Hainault lol

  79. Edwin in LA says:

    So you use one criteria to say how Davis accomplished more with the Dynamo but the refute it when confronted with how Beckham did more with the Galaxy?

    And you say that Houston improved a ton, well is not like Davis improved a lot, he had what about 11 or 12 assists the last 2 seasons? or 3 maybe?

    Davis was okay, and lets face it, this Dynamo team was underachieving big time, and they peaked at the right time, end of story, this is not the “Whole season MVP award”

    So the whole romantic argument about how he got them to the Final, which I might add he didn’t exactly have a hand in the semi considering the goals came after he went down… regardless that argument is mute, it’s about the regular season, take DeRo out he has a bigger impact

    End of story, there’s a reason why if he had gone back to Houston he would of been the one the offense would revolve around!

  80. Edwin in LA says:

    Thank You, there’s this guy named Rosales who is more dangerous than both! He just got hurt from hackers in MLS

    And he came in late, had been able to play the same amount of games the whole year as say Davis or maybe even Beckham cause I think he played less than Becks, he might of lead the league in assists. and he was sure to be in double digits in scoring as well, they had a great offense with him

    DeRo is the pick, not sure how anybody questions it?