Alain Rochat met the media Monday, the first time in front of a microphone since he was dealt from the Vancouver Whitecaps last week, and the freshly minted D.C. United defender/midfielder did not hold back with his criticisms of how the deal went down.
Rochat, 30, began his MLS career with the Whitecaps during their expansion season in 2011 and appeared in 67 regular season games for the club before last Thursday, when Vancouver shipped him to last-place D.C. United in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2015 SuperDraft and a conditional pick in 2016.
“If you ask my opinion, I’d say it’s terrible,” Rochat told Soccer By Ives of the trade process, adding that the move came at an especially tough time for him and his pregnant wife. “This trade thing could be OK in the offseason. You can sit down and talk to the guys. ‘OK, it will be better for you to be traded.’ You know, like something human instead of, ‘OK, we don’t need you anymore.’”
Rochat said that he was well aware that potential changes could be looming for him in the offseason, considering the Whitecaps have begun to use Jordan Harvey more regularly at left back and the pairing of Nigel Reo-Coker and Jun Marques Davidson as holding midfielders. Rochat started 11 of the ‘Caps 16 games this season, and Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie told media last week that the move opened up salary cap space that could lead to future moves for the club this season.
Rochat also insisted that other players on the ‘Caps roster are well aware of potential moves, considering the 'Caps have struggled to make consistent progress after their first-ever MLS postseason berth in 2012.
“Even before being traded,” Rochat told SBI,, “I’ve seen guys struggling in the locker room because of thinking too much of, ‘If I don’t play too many minutes, I can be traded the next day.’”
Rochat is available to make his debut in the fourth round of the US Open Cup on Wednesday, when D.C. United host the Philadelphia Union.
“We’ll see how he deals with the transition,” United coach Ben Olsen told SBI. “He helps us out offensively and defensively, been around a lot, brings us some experience, and his versatility will help us as well.”
Olsen said that Rochat is an option at left back, defensive midfield or center back with his new club.
“I guess if they call me, they need me to help them,” Rochat told SBI. “I’m ready — I want to play. I just want to go looking forward and having pleasure playing soccer.”
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