RBNY's Solér: De Rosario will be a game-changer

Sporting director says he expects to keep DeRo beyond 2010

HARRISON, N.J. – New York Red Bulls sporting director Erik Solér went for a run on his treadmill Saturday morning — somehow fitting since his team seems ready to make a run of their own at MLS Cup.

The Red Bulls pulled off an April Fool’s Day surprise, acquiring one of the league’s premier attacking midfielders in Dwayne De Rosario in exchange for Tony Tchani, Danleigh Borman and a first-round draft pick next year.

The trade ends a year-long hunt for a true No. 10 to pull the reigns of the midfield as De Rosario, who is a perennial Best XI selection, should provide forwards Thierry Henry and Juan Agudelo with plenty of service.

“We believe Dwayne is one of those game-changing players,” Solér said on Saturday before New York's match vs. the Houston Dynamo (7:30 pm ET, Matchday Live, Direct Kick). “He’s well within our financial targets, [and] well within our sporting targets.”

The Canadian is in the final year of his MLS contract, but Solér said that the player has club options as part of his contract and that he hopes to keep him with New York beyond 2010. In order to make the move possible, Solér confirmed that Toronto absorbed some of De Rosario’s salary and that New York still hold a third Designated Player slot open.

“We have been on the lookout for a true No. 10 for some period of time,” Solér said. “We have been looking for someone with a creative foot. It takes a lot of pressure off the attackers.”

While De Rosario’s distribution skills will take pressure off Agudelo and Henry, it puts pressure on the team as a whole. Now, for the first time in more than 10 years, New York are among the favorites to win MLS Cup as they are stacked with a roster that is deep with talent.

“We won our conference last year, we were No. 3 overall,” Solér said.  “We want to win the Supporters' Shield, the MLS Cup. We want to do that this year. I will be disappointed if we don’t win.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer