At least no one will blame TFC this time. Earlier it was reported that Dwayne De Rosario would not be reporting to the Gold Cup. The Red Bulls indicated that they expected him to stay there to help the club erase a 15 year trophy drought.
However today MLSsoccer reported DeRo’s response: “I’d like to go,” basically.
It’s a classic he said, he said of club versus country. The Red Bulls are putting pressure on him to stay, he’s pushing back, but making sure that people understand that he might end up having to remain in New York.
Canadian fans have no say. Stephen Hart barely has any more. Welcome to a day in the life of a Canadian soccer supporter.
The answer to this, of course – beating the dead horse now – is for MLS to actually shut down during its own confederation tournament. Don’t hold your breath as it simply isn’t a priority now. My position that it should be is irrelevant.
The debate brings up two questions. First, we need to ask ourselves whether De Rosario should be pressured to go. Secondly, we wonder just how important the Gold Cup should be taken with World Cup qualification just around the corner.
The kneejerk reaction is “Damn right,” and “If we don’t win I’m jumping off the Bloor Viaduct.” Maybe we should dial it back a bit.
As stated, WCQ starts very soon and Canada needs to play a significant amount of games this time to even get to the semi-final stage. As such, it is imperative for Hart to build depth. During those first round games against Caribbean minnows it’s going to be important to rely on the North American based players. Flying the European-based guys over to play the Cayman Islands is more than a bit pointless.
So, maybe Hart says to New York “fine, but we’re going to need him this fall.”
DeRo is an important part of the qualifying process. Although some will argue otherwise, this country simply does not have a player like him. So, Canada needs him. The stark truth is that the country needs him more in WCQ than in the Gold Cup.
That leads to the second part of the question. The WCQ seeding is set so all the Gold Cup is for is a spot in the Confederations Cup. That’s not nothing, but it’s not all that much either.
And if you haven’t dived into the Don yet...