Au revoir, mon ami – Alain Rochat traded to DC

And so we bid adieu to Tommy Soehn’s Swiss Trinity. Oh, we knew this day was coming, ever since Davide Chiumiento was sold back to Zurich, and Eric Hassli unceremoniously exiled to Toronto. But it still came as something of a shock.

DC United has agreed to take on the 30-year old Alain Rochat and his $190,000 salary in exchange for their second round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, as well as a conditional pick in 2016.

It was 1,028 days ago that Vancouver first said salut to Alain Rochat. Of course, it was 1,028 days ago that we said adieu to him as well, as we immediately loaned him back to Zurich.

Curva Collective pay their tribute to Alain Rochat at BC place on 15 June 2013.

During his two and a half years in Vancouver, he took to the field a total of 77 times, scoring five goals, directly assisting on two more, while earning fifteen yellow cards, and having spent 6,615 minutes on the pitch.

To put it another way, Alain Rochat spent 4 days, 14 hours, and 15 minutes in direct competitive service to Vancouver. And although he will be missed, one cannot help but wonder if this is but a prelude to a bigger move.

Alain Rochat at the Home Depot Center on 11 November 2012.

"Alain has been an outstanding professional during his tenure in Vancouver," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "It is never easy making player personnel moves but when considering all the factors, this is the best move for the club and it is the right time to go in a different direction. We are thankful for the contributions Alain has made to this club and city, and wish him and his family nothing but the best in DC."

Currently, the Whitecaps have 26 active MLS players under contract. Bryce Alderson and Carlyle Mitchell are on season long loans, and Jay DeMerit has been injured since the opening minutes of the season.

My understanding of MLS rules is that we are currently permitted ten international players by MLS’ definitions, and have filled all but one. Should another player be on the way, my money says that he’ll be from outside North America.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves in analysing the ramifications of this move, we should remember the contributions of Alain Rochat, some of which are captured in the photo gallery below.

Au revoir, mon ami.