The Vancouver Whitecaps have dealt the versatile Alain Rochat to D.C. United for a pair of draft picks.
The move not only bought Vancouver a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional pick in 2016, but cleared up Rochat’s $190,000-per-week salary and opened up a roster spot.
Rochat, a natural left-back, had lost his spot to Jonathan Harvey. Vancouver has experimented with him in the midfield and at central defense a few months before being moved.
“(Alain) has been a great guy, a great player,” said Harvey. “We battled for a position — all year last year and the year before. I can only say good things about him. I’m going to miss him.”
Head coach Martin Rennie says the move is a chance to look elsewhere. “It gives us the opportunity to consider other options. We’ve got quite a number of players who can play a similar role in midfield, so when we got the opportunity to make a move, that was why we did it.”
The experienced 30-year-old has 65 appearances to his name during his two and a half year stint with Vancouver. Before that, the Canadian played for a number of years in Europe, with Swiss sides BSC Young Boys and FC Zurich, as well as French side Stade Rennais. He played in the Champions League in 2009 for Zurich against clubs such as AC Milan and Real Madrid.
Rochat was also capped once by his national side Switzerland in 2005.
Despite a reputation of being both composed and fluid, Rochat’s play the last year or so has diminished and he’s slowed a little. However, Rennie has also used him out of position a lot recently despite still being quite adept at his left-back position.
D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper looks forward to having that kind of experience in his squad.
“Alain will provide us with immediate help with his experience and leadership. 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.”