D.C. United acquire Rochat from Whitecaps for draft picks

Colorado Rapids v Vancouver Whitecaps FC

By DAN KARELL

Continuing to re-tool their leaky defense, D.C. United snagged some veteran help on Thursday in an effort to salvage the rest of the season.

D.C. United announced the acquisition of defender Alain Rochat from the Vancouver Whitecaps, in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft and a conditional selection in 2016.

“Alain will provide us immediate help with his experience and leadership,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper in a statement on the club’s website. “He is a highly technical and intelligent player who can play on the backline or in the midfield. We are very pleased to welcome Alain to D.C. United.”

Rochat, born in Canada but raised in Switzerland, spent the last three seasons with the Whitecaps, normally starting at left back but also playing providing cover in central defense and in midfield. The 30-year-old had played in 11 of the Whitecaps 12 matches this season, starting in all of his appearances.

What do you make of the news? Do you see Rochat succeeding in D.C.? Think this is a good deal?

Share your thoughts below.

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19 Responses to D.C. United acquire Rochat from Whitecaps for draft picks

  1. drew11 says:

    Strange VAN would trade a starter for draft picks in the middle of the season.

  2. Eugene says:

    Wow, surprised that Vancouver would trade one of their starting fullbacks when their defense hasn’t exactly been waterproof, and traded for basically future consideration. What is Vancouver thinking for THIS season? I thought they were short on defenders

  3. Joe D says:

    DC has the luxury of being able to dispense with draft picks without much thought (a well developed and prolific academy system will do that). There are so many issues with this team that any position could’ve used some upgrading, but since najar left, the fullbacks have been lacking in depth and quality. decent pickup.

    • Jacknut says:

      That and DC has no players with any trade value save DeLeon and Hamid.

      • Joe D says:

        Maybe Pontius as well, but you’re correct. Its really amazing the number of international players DC has swung and missed on. This year is no different. Had some money from the najar transfer, used it on Rafael, who has played once….

        • fischy says:

          Correction — I don’t think we have used the Najar money yet. It’s available, if we want to turn the Rafael or the Raphael loan into a transfer.

          Unfortunately, we don’t have any international slots to fill for which that allocation money might be really useful.

    • fischy says:

      “DC has the luxury of being able to dispense with draft picks without much thought (a well developed and prolific academy system will do that).”

      Sarcasm, right? While they’re starting to work White and Shanosky into the lineup, the only other HG is Seaton, who is years away. Maybe, they’ll sign Robinson and/or Martin, if they can convince them to give up on Europe. United could be a pretty strong side right now, if they had held on to picks. 2010 — traded a first rounder for Perkins, who is gone. That pick turned into McInerney. Also traded 2d rounder for Gomez, who is gone. That pick was Akpan, but it might have also been Sinovic, Morrow or Beitashour. In 2011 — we dealt 2d round pick for King,..who is, wait for it, gone. That pick was used for Tetteh, but it could have been used on Michael Farfan. In 2012, we dealt 2nd round pick for Zayner. — now gone. That pick was used on Aubrey Perry, but it could have been Jumper, Velasquez or Creavalle. in 2013 the 2d round pick was dealt for Fred (when we could have drafted him as a free agent 2 months earlier) and Fred left for Australia before the summer. NE made a lousy pick, but it could have been Cochrane. And, of course, we’ve dealt our upcoming 2d rounder for Townsend.

      The worst trade was the 2008 1st rd pick which went to Toronto for Dyachenko. Toronto picked Phelan, but the next pick was KC’s pick of Roger Espinoza.

      In the last 5+ years, the team has traded 7 picks and the only player they got that is still with the team is the recently acquired Townsend, who has yet to tally for United.

      If we could afford to deal those picks, ti’s news to me. Certainly, our record in those years doesn’t support that view, as there was only one decent season in there.

      • Kosh says:

        +1 on the history lesson and sweet breakdown.

        Dyachenko – man I had totally forgotten about that name. Ouuch!

      • Joe D says:

        Saying what picks *could* have been seems like hindsight-ism to me. They’ve had picks. They’ve traded some away. The scouting isn’t good, point blank.

        • Joe D says:

          Also, Hamid and Najar (who you didn’t mention) are/were large parts of the team. The fact that DC hasn’t used the money from the Najar transfer yet isn’t a poor reflection on the academy system. White was used a lot two years ago when they had a defensive crisis.

      • Modibo says:

        I get your point but that’s a long list of “coulda beens.” If the DC FO can’t pick veteran players that are going to fit in, is it really logical to say that they would do better with a draft pick in hand and a hundred college players (and the odd foreign debutante) in front of them?

        • fischy says:

          Yes — because when they do pick, they are way above average in MLS. In fact, their record is amazing.

          In that same stretch, we’ve added Pontius, DeLeon, Kitchen, Korb, Willis and Kemp. Players we’ve picked and are now with other clubs include Wallace, Jacobsen, Kocic and Barklage. You have to look hard actually to find someone we’ve picked in the Superdraft and who is not now in MLS. Graye, Adams, and Cordeiro come to mind, and someone named Schmitz, who I frankly don’t remember. Graye and Cordeiro were later round picks. Of course, you could argue that if the team had not traded those picks, our draft record might not look so good, but it might look even better.

  4. Travis says:

    Nice logic here by DC. We are struggling to score goals so we trade for a defender? Nice.

    • jake says:

      DC’s defense hasn’t been very good either although I agree forward is a bigger need. There aren’t quality forwards just hanging around MLS rosters and available for trade.

  5. Josh D says:

    Again, still baffled by the front office. Rochat is not at the level to make a difference. Why must we continually spend, trade, or fill up salary space with veterans who won’t readily improve our team? I’d rather we spend on one big defensive transfer than continually purchase these veterans who do well for a couple weeks, but eventually fall off.

    This is the third sideback we’ve picked up in a year that’s a veteran and over 30. None have worked.

  6. Alex says:

    I think this is a good move for DC. Rochat is versatile and pretty good quality overall.

    I don’t know what Vancouver is thinking here, maybe someone can enlighten me…

    • Dave says:

      Vancouver’s logic is pretty simple: the team plays just as well, if not better when Jordan Harvey is in the lineup instead of Rochat. And, while I admittedly have no idea what their respective salaries are, I’d guess that Harvey makes less at the moment than Rochat. If true and if Harvey maintains his recent good form, this is a win-win for the ‘Caps.

      As for D.C.’s motivation, I think that they’ve come to the conclusion that they simply lack talent that is ready to perform now. At present, they seem to mostly have a mix of future talent, out of form regulars, and fringe backup players to choose from, very few of whom are playing well at all at the moment. Rochat is not a long term solution but should at least add depth and provide cover at LB until Taylor Kemp is ready to assume the starting role. Not the best trade given what they had to give up to get him. But, it’s a trade that was made necessary by poor performance at the position and inadequate efforts, or lack thereof by the D.C. FO to address the position in the offseason.

      All in all, meh!