Boskovic a fan favorite on his previous team

The most devout fans of Rapid Vienna, the Tornados, take their role so seriously that they film themselves during games, videotaping the coordinated songs, chants and flag-waving that emanate from the Block West in Hanappi Stadium in the Austrian capital.

An entire section of their Web site is devoted to it.

And like D.C. United's own uniquely dedicated supporters, the Tornados reserve tributes only for their most revered -- for players who have become synonymous with the jersey on their back.

When Branko Boskovic played his final game for Rapid in May, the Tornados greeted him with a banner in Serbian that read, "Branko, today you are one of us!"

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The 30-year-old Montenegrin midfielder is set on capturing the hearts of D.C. United fans in the same fashion.

"I give my maximum there," Boskovic said of his two and half seasons with Rapid. "They appreciated that, and with Red Star [Belgrade], they stay always in here in my heart. If I have a good season with D.C., they'll be in my heart also because I am a person like this."

It also makes him more than merely a mercenary designated player on the back end of his career looking for a comfortable setting and a decent paycheck. Instead, words like "quality" and "class" describe what United hopes he'll bring -- with a 3-9-3 record, it can't afford anything less.

"He is smooth on the ball," United defender Devon McTavish said. "He's a good player, he's got a good resume, and he's got some soccer smarts obviously, where he's gone. He's got a nice little left foot on him."

Whether the new No. 27 makes his debut Thursday against Seattle -- or, more likely because of fitness reasons Sunday against Los Angeles -- Boskovic needs to make an impact right away because Euro 2012 qualification could complicate his fall season. Montenegro has matches against Wales and Bulgaria in the first week of September and England and Switzerland early in October.

By then, Boskovic hopes to have taken the first steps toward claiming his own special part of D.C. United history as he did with Rapid Vienna.

"It's something more," Boskovic said. "They have tradition and older group of fans. It's a little bit same like here [in D.C.]. They have character, and they are good with me."