5 Reasons TFC Should Never Have Traded Dwayne De Rosario
2011 was a year of great drama regarding the most successful player to lace up for Toronto FC. With two great seasons under his belt in his native town, Dwayne De Rosario made public demands for increased wages.
"We were unaware of Dwayne's plan to train with Celtic and we will contact them to understand the situation. Obviously, if there is interest in a short-term loan arrangement by either him or Celtic, they will need to approach us and the league formally, and we will consider based on what is in TFC's best interest."
These two moments spoiled De Rosario's name in Toronto. However, despite the conflict surrounding Dwayne in his last months with The Reds, this is a list of five reasons Toronto should have held onto this Canadian star.
Firstly, De Rosario is Canadian.
This is an important fact, and not simply because he is a home town boy. There are tight roster restrictions in Major League Soccer, so much so that it gets downright confusing even without factoring in the salary cap.
With allotted Designated Player, International, Generation Adidas, as well as home grown spots, Canadian teams are especially hamstrung in piecing together a roster.
Without a doubt, Canada is leagues behind the USMNT in terms of player quality and development. It is very hard to find quality Canadian players that are capable competing in the MLS, although it is rapidly increasing.
The fact that De Rosario is Canadian is monumental for the fact that one of the mandatory Canadian roster spots is occupied by one of the very best MLS players.
Complaints have been made by Aron Winter that these top Canadian players understand their worth to Canadian teams and hence exploit their position to receive higher pay. While this may be true, it is unfortunately the nature of the beast in MLS.
With three Canadian teams set to play this season, expect Canadian content to be watered down until the CMNT catches up to the demands of the league.
Julian de Guzman
Toronto fans describe Julian de Guzman in several words; talented, lazy, underachiever and potentially the worst waste of a Designated Player Rule slot and money. De Guzman is believed to be one of the major contributing forces to De Rosario's demand for more money.
With de Guzman playing behind him in mid and earning much more than himself, you can't blame De Rosario for comparing performances and cash and then realizing something isn't right.
Anyone who has seen these two players together on the pitch can immediately see a difference. Julian de Guzman has good games and bad. He is both energetic and lackadaisical.
De Guzman's performance and wages can and should be seen as both a disappointment as well as a major contributing factor behind De Rosario's actions and demands. If I personally could have made the choice, I would have dealt de Guzman 10 times out of 10 to keep De Rosario in the fold.
Toronto's All-Time Leading Goal Scorer
De Rosario is without a doubt Toronto FC's most successful goal scorer. Whether playing games as the lone striker, a winger or creative midfielder, it didn't matter because he would score in bunches.
In just two full seasons with Toronto and 75 games, De Rosario found the back of the net 32 times. To compare these numbers, former Toronto striker Chad Barrett played 78 games for The Reds reaching 21 total goals.
De Rosario is Toronto's all-time leading goal scorer. For a team that has constantly struggled to produce goals it seems nonsensical to trade away the club's best scorer. Despite the late edition of Danny Koevermans, Toronto's goal scoring leaders were also dealt away.
In some sort of sick paradox, Aron Winter's attractive attacking football team could not find the back of the net in 2011, something Dwayne De Rosario would have undoubtedly contributed to.
MVP and the Golden Boot
Speaking of contributions, De Rosario had one great season. Despite playing for three different teams, De Rosario was named League MVP and also won the Golden Boot with 16 goals and 12 assists as a member of D.C. United.
These awards rounded out an already outstanding MLS career for this Canadian international.
Without being too brash, or dwelling on Toronto's misfortunes, was there a clear team MVP last season? None that compared to De Rosario.
Received Nothing for Him
Lastly, but probably the most painfully, what did Toronto FC gain from trading the League MVP and Golden Boot award winner? Let's break down this complex deal.
Toronto sent Dwayne De Rosario to the New York Red Bulls for left-back Danleigh Borman, young midfielder Tony Tchani and a first-round draft pick. At first glance this deal seemed like a big win.
However, Toronto fans soon saw how appalling this deal would work out. Borman was all but terrible on the left side. His defending was atrocious and his attack was not good enough to make up for the fact that he couldn't defend in this league.
Tchani? He was traded again, but this time to rival club Columbus for Andy Iro and Leandre Griffit. While Iro filled a desperate need in defense because of injuries, I don't expect him to be more than a bench player. Griffit was waived at the end of this season.
When all is said and done, Toronto received a backup central defender and left-back, and a first-round pick for De Rosario.
While it remains to be seen what this pick will amount to, it is hard to believe that whoever is drafted could have a career and impact such as De Rosario.
De Rosario's time in Toronto was much too short. Once the dust settles over the events that occurred last season, his efforts and leadership will be remembered and outweigh the negative.
There is no denying his ability and heart, but unfortunately the two sides were destined to part ways. TFC fans have your say!