|Full name||Dilaver Duka|
|Date of birth||September 15, 1989|
|Place of birth||Montville, New Jersey, United States|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Columbus Crew SC|
|2007–2008||Rutgers Scarlet Knights|
|2008||New Jersey Rangers||0||(0)|
|2008–2009||Newark Ironbound Express||7||(1)|
|2010–2012||Columbus Crew SC||45||(2)|
|2016–||Columbus Crew SC||15||(1)|
|2009||United States U20||13||(2)|
|2012||United States U23||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 29, 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of March 4, 2012
Youth and College
Duka grew up in Montville, New Jersey, to an Albanian family originally from Debar. Duka played at Montville Township High School and played college soccer at Rutgers University. During his time at Rutgers, he led the team in scoring and was a 2008 All-Big East selection. For his career, he played in thirty-six games, making thirty-five starts, scoring ten goals and contributing five assists.
During his college years Duka played two seasons with the Newark Ironbound Express in the USL Premier Development League. He actually started 2008 with the New Jersey Rangers but he never made an appearance for the club.
Duka was drafted in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by Columbus Crew. He made his debut for the Crew on 14 August 2010 against Real Salt Lake in a 2–0 defeat. Later that season he made his first start for Columbus, picking up a yellow card in a 1–0 victory at D.C. United on 4 September 2010. Duka made five appearances in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, providing two assists, and also made three appearances in the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Duka scored his first career goal on 15 October 2011 in a 3–0 victory over New England Revolution. He trapped an attempted clearance outside the box and finished from the left side of the penalty area in the 59th minute. He would go on to score his second career goal in the Crew's next match, a 3–2 defeat to Chicago Fire on 22 October 2011. Duka appeared against Colorado Rapids in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs as the Crew were eliminated 1–0 by the defending champions in the wildcard round.
After three seasons in Columbus, Duka was traded to Chicago Fire on February 1, 2013 in exchange for Dominic Oduro. Duka made his debut for the Fire on 3 March 2013 in a season-opening 4–0 loss to the LA Galaxy. He was subbed off after 57 minutes. On 22 June 2013, in his return to Columbus, Duka scored in the 52nd minute of a 2–1 victory for the Fire, his first goal for the club. He set career-highs in his first season with Chicago, scoring four goals and providing three assists.
Duka began the 2014 season in Chicago, but appeared in just six of the first 19 matches. He did start away to his former club Columbus on 24 May, but was subbed off after 61 minutes in a 2–0 defeat. His final appearance with the Fire came on 6 July in a 1–1 away draw with Sporting KC, when he came on as a substitute at halftime for Alex.
On July 29, 2014 Duka departed Chicago when he was traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for Sanna Nyassi. He made his debut for the Impact on 2 August 2014 in a 401 Derby match against Toronto FC, coming on as a substitute for Justin Mapp in the 74th minute of a 2–0 defeat. Duka made his first start in Montreal when his former club, the Fire, visited Stade Saputo on 16 August 2014. He played the full 90 minutes, tallying one shot in a 1–0 Impact victory. In the next MLS match for Montreal, away to the New York Red Bulls on 23 August 2014, Duka tallied his first goal for the Impact. His left-footed strike in the 37th minute gave the Impact a 1–0 lead at the time, but they went on to fall 4–2 to the Red Bulls. Duka went on to score in matches against the Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes and finished the 2014 season with three goals for Montreal, appearing in all 14 matches after the trade.
In the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League, Duka appeared in all 10 matches the Impact played in their run to the final of the tournament. He scored twice, with both goals coming in the first leg of the quarterfinal matchup with Mexican side Pachuca. Duka started both legs of the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League Finals against Mexican side América. In the first leg, held at the Estadio Azteca, he received a yellow card and was replaced in the 71st minute by Maxim Tissot as América's Oribe Peralta scored in the 89th minute to earn a 1–1 draw. In the second leg, at the Olympic Stadium, Duka went the full 90 minutes as the Impact were defeated 4–2 and denied their first-ever CONCACAF title by a 5–3 aggregate score.
In the 2015 Canadian Championship, Duka appeared in three of four games for the Impact, only being benched in the second leg of the championship against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In the first leg, he had started and played 76 minutes before being replaced by Andrés Romero. With the 4–2 aggregate defeat, Montreal was denied a berth in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League.
Duka opened the 2015 season in the starting lineup, as he went the full 90 minutes of a 1–0 season-opening loss to D.C. United, but he would wind up starting just 19 of 34 regular-season matches. Duka scored his first goal of the season on 16 May against Real Salt Lake, his 78th minute strike helping Montreal to their first MLS win of the season, 4–1. He wouldn't score again until 19 September against Eastern Conference-leading New England Revolution. After coming on as a substitute for Andrés Romero in the 71st minute, Duka chipped Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the 76th minute to seal a 3–0 victory for the Impact. In the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Duka appeared in all three matches for the Impact, but did not finish the full 90 minutes in any. He started the 3–0 victory in the Knockout Round over Toronto FC, before being replaced on 84 minutes by Dominic Oduro. At home for the first leg of the semifinals against Columbus Crew SC, Duka came off the bench to replace Oduro in the 61st minute of a 2–1 victory. The second leg at MAPFRE Stadium would turn out to be Duka's last game with Montreal. His 40th minute goal would put the Impact up 3–2 on aggregate, but Duka would be replaced by Hassoun Camara in the 65th minute as Montreal would lose the game, 3–1 in extra time, and the series 4–3 on aggregate.
At the end of the 2015 season, Montreal expressed interest in bringing Duka back for 2016, with the player saying, "Now, I’m just waiting for the Impact to make an offer. I’m going to look at that. If that’s good, I’ll definitely come back." However, on 18 January 2016 Duka announced he would not return to Montreal, with the club quoted as saying he wanted to pursue opportunities in Europe. The Impact retained his rights in MLS.
Return to Columbus Crew SC
After leaving Montreal following the 2015 season and failing to find a new club, Duka returned to Columbus on June 20, 2016 after Columbus acquired his right of first refusal from Montreal in exchange for general allocation money, targeted allocation money, and a second round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. He made his return to Columbus July 3, 2016, playing 17 minutes as a substitute in a 3–2 draw against Sporting KC. Duka's first goal back with Crew SC came October 1, 2016 in a 3–0 victory over his former club, Chicago Fire. He ended the 2016 season with one goal and one assist in 15 appearances.
Duka made his lone appearance with the U-23 national team on 29 February 2012 against Mexico, in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics. He was not selected to the US team for the 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship, where the United States was eliminated in the group stage.
- Asport (September 30, 2013). "Ekskluzive: Dilaver "Dilly" Duka në Kombëtaren Shqiptare (video)". Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- Bondy, Stefan. "Rutgers standout Dilly Duka picked by Columbus Crew in MLS draft ", The Record (Bergen County), January 15, 2010. Accessed February 23, 2011. "Duka, a Montville resident and former Rutgers standout, played at Red Bull Academy and nearly signed with his hometown club over the summer as a homegrown player."
- Staff. "Rutgers Recruiting Class Nationally Ranked: Scarlet Knights rated 27th by College Soccer News", Rutgers Scarlet Knights, August 3, 2007. Accessed February 23, 2011. "Highlighting this group of standout players is Dilly Duka (Montville, N.J.), a midfielder from Montville High School, who Reasso has described as one of the best attacking midfielders graduating from the state of New Jersey last spring."
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