August 11, 2020

D.C. United acquire Rochat from Vancouver in deal for draft pick

D.C. United tried to bolster its defense today, sending at least one Major League Soccer SuperDraft pick (and possibly two, the second being a conditional pick) to the Vancouver Whitecaps for left back Alain Rochat. Rochat is a Switzerland international by definition, having been capped once by that country in a World Cup qualifier.

United will be Rochat’s sixth club, as he has spent time in his career with Yverdon, BSC Young Boys, and FC Zurich in the Swiss League, as well as Rennes in French Ligue 1, according to his bio at Rochat appeared 117 times for FC Zurich before being acquired by Vancouver early in 2011, winning Super League titles in 2007 and 2009. This is Rochat’s third season in MLS. Rochat started in all 27 of his appearances for the Whitecaps last season, scoring two goals and adding two assists in 2,323 minutes (he only missed 107 minutes of a possible 2,430 in his starts last season).

This season, Rochat had played in 12 matches for Vancouver, starting 11, though he hadn’t hit the scoresheet yet. Like his new United teammates, Rochat hasn’t incurred much disciplinary trouble in 2013, being shown just two yellow cards so far (and committing 12 fouls). No United player has more than three yellows this season (Perry Kitchen). Rochat does have 15 cautions in 67 career MLS appearances (65).

For Rochat, who stands 6-foot tall and is 30 years old, United sent a 2015 2nd-round SuperDraft pick to Vancouver, as well as a conditional 2016 pick, according to the press release regarding the Rochat transaction posted on United’s web site. Along with his one appearance for Switzerland, Rochat also has appeared 14 times in the UEFA Champions League and 12 times in the UEFA Cup. His combined 26-match European career consisted of 1 own goal; 4 yellow cards, and 1 red card.

Regarding the acquisition, the first of what could be many changes in an effort to turn around United’s historically disappointing season so far, D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper said in the team release, “Alain will provide us 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.”

If “immediate help” means Rochat ascends into the starting 11 for United head coach Ben Olsen on a regular basis, as he did in Vancouver, he would mostly replace Daniel Woolard, who has started seven times at left back this season in United’s 13 matches. Chris Korb (3) and James Riley (3) have been the other starters at the position this season. Due in part to errors throughout the defense, especially on set pieces, United have conceded 24 goals in 13 games en route to a 1-10-2 start – the club’s 5 points thus far are the worst in MLS. The 24 goals conceded are tied with the Philadelphia Union for second worst in MLS, ahead of only Chivas USA (26).

Rochat could also provide extra cover outside in the midfield, should Olsen deem that necessary.

Click here and here to see highlights of Rochat while he was with Vancouver.

Ed Morgans is a Contributor to District Sports Page, covering D.C. United. For in-game analysis and story notifications, follow him on Twitter @writered21.

About Ed Morgans

Ed Morgans is DC United Page Editor for District Sports Page. Ed worked for The Journal Newspapers (now The Examiner) and covered DC United from 1997-2002. He spent the 2003 season writing for the club’s website. Ed has covered All-Star Games, MLS Cups, CONCACAF Champions Cup, World Cup qualifiers, and international friendlies. He also worked as a blogger at, the country’s leading soccer message board website. You can follow Ed on Twitter @writerEd21.

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