Dwayne De Rosario, until recently of DC United, was named the 2013 TheCup.us Player of the Tournament. He played in all but 23 minutes of the tournament for United, leading the club to their third Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title, and his first as a player.
The Player of the Tournament award is voted on by staff at TheCup.us and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters. De Rosario won the vote by an overwhelming majority.
Others receiving votes were DC teammate Joe Willis, Portland Timbers forward Frederic Piquionne, who made history in the Third Round with four goals in one half and finished tied with De Rosario for leading goalscorer with five, and Javier Morales, who led Real Salt Lake to the title game.
De Rosario made his mark immediately on the tournament, playing all 120 minutes in DC’s opening game against the Richmond Kickers. After a scoreless draw, he scored in the penalty kick shootout to help United advance. In Round 4, De Rosario scored all three goals in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Union. He became the first Canadian to score a hat trick in the Open Cup in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present) and earned Player of the Round honors for his effort.
He followed that performance with two game-winning goals in the next two rounds. He scored the game winner in the quarterfinals against the New England Revolution in the 69th minute. DC went on to win 3-1. He also scored the deciding goal against the Chicago Fire in the Semifinals. United’s 2-0 win in Chicago marked the first time the Fire had ever lost at home in Open Cup play.
DC United won the cup against Real Salt Lake, with De Rosario playing 75 minutes in the 1-0 victory. The MLS side’s run through the US Open Cup was extraordinary considering the team’s league form. DC had more victories in the Open Cup (4) than it did in MLS play (3). United also had plenty of success winning Player of the Round, taking the award in three of the five rounds in which they played: De Rosario in the Fourth Round, Joe Willis in the Semifinals, and Bill Hamid in the Final.
De Rosario’s successful cup form was not enough to impress DC United management, however. This week, the club decided not to exercise the option in his contract, meaning De Rosario will be wearing the uniform of another team next season.
2013 TheCup.us Player of the Round Honors
Player of the Tournament (Overall): Dwayne De Rosario (DC United)
Player of the Tournament (Lower Division): Ty Shipalane (Carolina RailHawks)
Final: Bill Hamid (DC United)
Semifinals: Joe Willis (DC United)
Quarterfinals: Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
Fourth Round: Dwayne De Rosario (DC United)
Third Round: Frederic Piquionne (Portland Timbers)
Second Round: Brandon Fricke (Des Moines Menace)
First Round: David Geno (Seattle Sounders U23)
Preliminary Round: Gustavo Villalobos (FC Hasental)