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D.C. United acquires the 33-year-old attacking midfielder in exchange for the 24-year-old McCarty

D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls announced a blockbuster trade of midfielders late Monday, as Dwayne De Rosario was sent from New York to D.C. in exchange for Dax McCarty.

The move comes as a surprise, as De Rosario was only just acquired by the Red Bulls in April in a trade with Toronto FC. McCarty, meanwhile, was a recent addition by D.C. United as well, having been traded by the Portland Timbers in November immediately after they selected him first in the expansion draft.

“We are thrilled to have concluded a deal to bring Dwayne De Rosario to our club,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “Dwayne is a proven champion in our league and will add significant firepower to our attack. We look forward to seeing him join the club this week.”

The Canadian international started 12 of 13 MLS games for New York, scoring two goals and adding four assists. He is a five-time MLS All-Star, and has been selected to the MLS Best XI five times.

“In order to gain a quality piece we gave up a quality player in Dax McCarty, but we feel that De Rosario is a game-changer that will help us in our push for playoffs," said D.C. head coach Ben Olsen.

McCarty meanwhile, started 11 of 13 MLS matches this season for D.C. United, and tallied two assists while playing a defensive midfield role. He has earned five caps for the U.S. national team.

“Dax is an exciting young player who will immediately add his dynamic style of play to our midfield,” said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He is an excellent two-way player who will contribute both to our defense and to our attack for seasons to come.”

“To acquire such a promising player, we had to make a difficult decision in trading Dwayne. During his short time in New York, Dwayne has been a consummate professional. We wish him the best of luck in D.C.," Soler added.

The move could pave the way for the Red Bulls to make a summer signing or two, as De Rosario's base salary of $425,000 was significantly higher than McCarty's, which was $155,000. The team has been struggling of late, winning just once in its last ten matches.

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