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  • The choice DeRo made


    I find myself more than merely annoyed at Toronto FC's trade of Dwayne de Rosario to New York Product Placement.

    And none of that annoyance is for the man who actually made the deal.

    Incoming TFC boss Aron Winter faced a huge rebuilding job when he arrived in Toronto. The fact that his captain and leading scorer was the most selfish player on the team certainly didn't help.


    Okay, Dwayne, I get it. It's a business. Soccer is a job, and no doubt, you got jobbed.

    I don't blame you for feeling that way. We all got jobbed by Johnston -- you more than most. I never for a second doubted you when you talked about promises that hadn't been kept. But there's a thousand ghosts lined up at Gate 4 who've been there -- and been done -- as well.

    I'll even give you that Mo never should have signed Julian de Guzman to that million-buck-plus DP deal. That's a lot of salt to wham into what must have been a pretty deep wound.

    But there's a deeper point that eludes me. Check that -- it eluded you.

    How bad could it really be -- honestly -- to pocket 400 G's a season to captain your home-town soccer team, and score all those lovely goals in front of all those ravenous, raving red fans?

    You're not a young player anymore. You've won a nice collection of championships stateside. And you weren't exactly going broke up here.

    Ask that 1997 Dwayne de Rosario -- the speedy, light-footed bastard who stupefied A-League defences with the Toronto Lynx.

    You remember that kid? The one who didn't cut it in Europe, and wound up kicking around endlessly in the B-league Carolinas until some team in Major League Soccer finally took a chance on a Canadian?

    You weren't exactly young by then, either, mate. And you won a bunch of titles. Even ripped home a golden-goal in overtime to put one more ring on you fingers.

    Go back and ask that 1997 kid how cool it would be to play MLS in Toronto for the money you made last year? I guarantee that kid isn't making cheque-writing signs on a day all the fans were stinging from the announcement of a huge increase in the price of season tickets.

    Again -- to be fair -- Toronto FC up until now has been a dysfunctional disaster. I've fled some toxic workplaces in my time, too. You gotta do what you gotta do.

    But why wouldn't you give Aron Winter more to work with? He's not the guy who promised you the moon and left you in a crater. He's not the guy who gave de Guzman that contract. But he might yet be the guy with the system and the touch and the savvy and the grit to make this team a winner down the road.

    Wouldn't that have been worth something to you?

    I'd love to get hold of the pup who said you should be making DP coin. Seventeen other teams say no, and you still think they owe you.

    Well, it's a new start for all of us now. We don't exactly have a captain on the roster, but we didn't really have one before, either. You get to ride the declining years of Thierry Henry's backwash. There ought to be some minor glory in that.

    I'm sad and sorry for all the lies Mo told ya, Dwayne.

    I'm sorrier still that you couldn't rise above it, and be the real leader of Toronto FC.


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