Caribbean Stars in the Community By Aldwyn McGill
|TFC Archives go here —>|
|For Magazine Info –>|
De Rosario retires from Pro-soccer
After 18 seasons Dwayne De Rosario professional playing days are over. De Rosario announced his retirement with his son Tinashe at BMO Field just before Toronto FC match against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday May 30, 2015.
“Today we bid a formal farewell to Dwayne De Rosario as player. He goes down as an absolute legend and champion in both the MLS and Canadian soccer,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko at the press conference.
“We are extremely grateful to Dwayne for his countless contributions both on-and-off the pitch representing Toronto FC; and the fact he was able to both start and finish his storied professional career in his hometown. We are also very excited that he will continue to play an active role at our club as a community ambassador. The testimonial match is one of the activities we have in place to honour Dwayne’s legacy at our club.”
De Ro leaves the game as one of the most decorated Canadian player in the MLS. He won four MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2006, 2007), MLS MVP honours in 2011 with D.C. United, MLS Cup MVP honours in 2001 and 2007, and was named to the MLS Best XI six times (2005-07, 2009-11).
De Ro, as he is affectionally called, began his professional career in 1997 with the Toronto Lynx of the A-League at age 18 before signing with FSV Zwickau of Germany. He returned to North America in 1999 where he signed with the Richmond Kickers before moving to the MLS with San Jose.
At 36, De Ro shared the last 14 of his 18 seasons with 5 clubs in the MLS where he won numerous individual and team awards. Most notable is his four MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2006, 2007), with San Jose and Houston Dynamo respectively.
During his championship years De Rosario won MLS MVP honours in 2011 with D.C. United, MLS Cup MVP honours in 2001 and 2007, and named to the MLS Best XI six times (2005-07, 2009-11) to go win his team accomplishments).
De Rosario represented Canada at five CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments (2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2011) and was named Canadian Player of the Year on four occasions (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011). He was a member of Canada CONCACAF Gold medal team in 2000 and was named to Canada” all-time (best) XI.
However, it must be said that while having won multiple individual and team awards with Toronto after arriving from Houston Dynamo on December 12, 2008, De Rosario playoff numbers did not improve from his tenure at TFC.
His 367 career appearances, 109 goals, and 82 assists from MLS regular season and playoff matches made him a winner. Nevertheless, Toronto shipped him to the New York Red Bulls on April 1, 2011 that ended with another move to D.C. United in the same season.
At DC United however, all De Rosario did in proving his worth was scored 23 goals to go along with 21 assists in 68 MLS contests to be named the 2011 MLS MVP and MLS Golden Boot recipient on the strength of his 13-goal, 12-assist performance in a double-trade season.
However, better heads prevailed as Toronto picked up the rights for De Rosario for the 2014 season although it was overshadowed with the Bloody Big Deal signings of English International and Tottenham Hotspurs forward Jermain Defoe and AS Roma and USA midfielder Michael Bradley.
De Rosario was traded to New York Red Bulls on April 1, 2011 after joining Toronto FC in 2008. He re-joined Toronto on January 9, 2014 after missing three seasons to end his accomplished career in Toronto as TFC’s all-time leader in goals scored across all competitions with 33.
De Rosario led Toronto FC in scoring in 2009 with 11 goals, and in 2010 set a franchise single-season high with 15 goals and on April 8, 2010 he was named just the second team captain in team history. Later that season he helped lead the Reds to their first CONCACAF Champions League berth.
In addition, on retirement he holds the club record in a number of statistical categories including: all-time career leader in multi-goal games (five), game-winning goals (seven), shots (177), tied for first in assists (10), and second in all-time club appearances (98). De Rosario also won two Amway Canadian Championships with Toronto FC (2009, 2010) and was named tournament MVP on both occasions.
In my quest to determine the reason Dero was initially traded by TFC and how on resigning with TFC he was demoted to extended bench time for most of the 2014 season I asked Dwayne about his claim to having “unfinished business” in Toronto when he left the first time.
“Unfinished business was to bring this city (Toronto) a championship and I meant that as a player but I still have those goals in mind and still that dream at heart” He said “I am on the outside now and I am still going to be focus even more so now that I am on the back end and working with (GM) Tim and working with the organization …. eeing what recipe we can put together to make sure that (playoffs) happens in the city and right now I think we are on the right track and I am really looking forward to that”
“Yes I won’t be contributing as a player but I will be contributing even more so being an Ambassador and helping out that team and I’ll be like every great fan out there anticipating that great day and celebrating just as I was as a player”
De Rosario is transitioning into his new role as a Community Ambassador for Toronto FC and ends his accomplished career as the club’s all-time leader in goals scored across all competitions with 33 in just 3 seasons.
In addition to his new role as Ambassador, the club will be hosting a special testimonial match at BMO Field on Saturday, June 20 prior to the club’s match against New York City FC scheduled to kick-off at 3:00 p.m. ET
De Rosario Career
DeRo professional soccer career began in 1997 with the Toronto Lynx of the A-League at age 18. Midway through his first season with the Lynx, De Rosario signed for FSV Zwickau of Germany, where he remained until returning to North America in 1999 to sign for the Richmond Kickers. In 2001, De Rosario signed for the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS and spent five seasons with the club. He helped lead the team to two MLS Cup championships (2001, 2003), was named MLS Cup MVP in 2001 after scoring the Golden Goal for the Earthquakes. He also won back-to-back MLS Goal of the Year awards (2004, 2005). De Rosario remained with the club as it moved to Houston to become the Houston Dynamo for the 2006 season. He spent three seasons with the Dynamo, winning back-to-back MLS Cup championships (2006, 2007). He was also named MLS Cup MVP in 2007 becoming the first ever player to win the award twice. De Rosario was then traded to Toronto FC on December 12, 2008. Following his first stint with Toronto FC, he was traded to the New York Red Bulls on April 1, 2011. Later that season, he was again traded from the Red Bulls to D.C. United. While with D.C., De Rosario netted 23 goals to go along with 21 assists in 68 MLS contests and was named the 2011 MLS MVP and MLS Golden Boot recipient on the strength of his 13-goal, 12-assist season. In 2013, De Rosario played a key role in D.C. United’s U.S. Open Cup championship and was named tournament MVP. In addition, De Rosario was named to the MLS Best XI six times during his career (2005-07, 2009-11), and was selected to the MLS All-Star game seven times (2006-12).
For the Canadian national team, De Rosario finishes with 81 caps (third all-time) and stands as the all-time leading goal scorer for Canada with 22 goals. He was named Canadian Player of the Year on four occasions (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011), and in 2012 was named to Canada’s all-time XI. De Rosario represented Canada at five CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments (2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2011), and won the Gold medal in 2000. He also represented Canada during the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup; and a number of FIFA World Cup qualification matches during his international career. De Rosario earned his first cap with the Canadian national team on May 18, 1998 at the age of 20 against FYR Macedonia; and scored his first goal against South Korea on February 2, 2002 in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Both his final cap and goal for Canada came in a 1-1 draw during a friendly match against Iceland on January 19, 2015.
De Rosario will now fully transition into his role as a Community Ambassador for Toronto FC. In addition to his new role, the club will host a special testimonial match at BMO Field on Saturday, June 20 ahead of the club’s match against New York City FC. Fans with tickets to the Toronto FC match will have the opportunity to attend the testimonial match, which is scheduled to kick-off at 3:00 p.m. ET.