Why De Rosario’s Second Coming Should Be Embraced

Dwayne De Rosario is returning to Toronto FC: glory, glory hallelujah!
by Sonja Missio   |   Monday, December 23, 2013

Red Dawn Rising - column on Toronto FC (TFC) & the Toronto Ontario soccer scene

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:21-24

Last week it was announced that former Toronto FC captain, homegrown hero, and domestic league heel, Dwayne Anthony De Rosario, would be returning to the TFC lineup for the 2014 season.

The news was met with mixed feelings. On one hand, the most infamous Toronto FC player would be returning home. :).

On the other hand, well, the most infamous Toronto FC player would be returning home. :(.

Toronto fans and pundits were either delighted or dubious of the signing (which, by the way, may not be 100% official; it can still be dismissed by the infallible powers that be at MLS). Personally, I was ecstatic: Christmas had come early for Toronto, with our big man in red being returning DeRo.

I did what any fan/professional international soccer columnist would do and took to social media to express my well thought out and expert opinion:


Red Dawn Rising - column on Toronto FC (TFC) & the Toronto Ontario soccer scene

However, while most people seemed to share in my joy at the return of our wayward captain, one person in particular did not.

This person – who shall remain nameless (but who can list published book author, New York Times writer, Canadian media darling, and – ugh – self proclaimed “Don” on his CV) – was shocked at my excitement and immediately texted me: “WHY?!”

That led to a lot of yelling, a bit of name calling, and me reconsidering my position on DeRo, or rather, reaffirmed my position on DeRo.

In response, I came up with a list of why I am excited for the Second Coming of De Rosario. So here you go, five reasons on how to silence the DeRo Downers:

5. DeRo will be returning to the Reds with a sense of humbleness. He left the Toronto club on bad terms (very quick recap: hostility between TFC and De Rosario grew over money issues and locker room tensions; DeRo seemed so desperate to leave the club, he actually committed to a-worse-in-retrospect contract with New York Red Bulls before being traded mid-season to DC United), but is coming back with a clean sheet. Let bygones be bygones; Toronto just signed the leading goal-scorer/4-time Canadian Player of the Year for the Canadian Men’s National Team, a multi-year MLS Goal of the Year winner and the 2011 MLS MVP.

4. And, hey, fans will get to see him dance again!

3. Every year TFC promises to “rebuild,” “restructure,” “rebrand” while we all “regurgitate.” Maybe, instead of trying something new, Toronto should try something old; instead of looking forward, why not look back to something familiar? 

2. He can no longer score against Toronto FC. I honestly cannot think of (/research) a game where DeRo didn’t get at least 1 goal a game when playing TFC. So unless he starts scoring own goals just to spite me, I think the points-per-game average for Toronto may go up.

1. Toronto has a weird love-hate relationship with De Rosario; however, it is finally time for fans take some responsibility for this dichotomy. DeRo has bounced around from face to heel at the whim of fans, creating a faux performativity of a so-called villainy of character on the Scarborough-born captain. Maybe it is just time to love DeRo, instead of looking for excuses to hate him.

And bonus: I can finally start wearing my DeRo shirt again. Now if they will only re-sign Ricketts, Hassli and Frei, I will be set for the season.

Merry, merry everyone! I will see you in the New Year, stoked for the new season. 


Univ. of Guelph, Univ. of W. Ontario, Brock University
Club Domestic:
Toronto FC
Club Foreign:
Supported Udinese since birth, TFC was her own stupid decision; writing on her masochistic relationship with soccer started after. Doomed as a Canadian - Friulano - Swiss - Filipina. Searching for Juventini actually from Turin and running for FIFA Prez.