There's one story in Canadian soccer today, and that's Dwayne De Rosario of Toronto FC trialling at Celtic of the Scottish Premier League without bothering to get permission from or even inform his club first. When contacted for comment yesterday, Toronto FC's brass said that of course De Rosario wasn't on trial at Celtic; a perfectly understandable reaction given that TFC only found out that DDR had gone looking for a Scotsman to sign his cheque through the media.
As this site is the Official Space of Mocking Toronto FC, it's only natural that I join in the laughter at De Rosario's clueless club. The team hasn't hired a coach or a general manager yet three days from 2011. Their organization is a shambles, they've never had a ghost of any success on the pitch, and now they're caught running around like decapitated chickens while their captain and best player tries to flee for greener pastures. There's not much room left on the laughing-at-Toronto bandwagon: to quote just one comment I received on Twitter, from lwo04: "if I were a player on TFC [. . .] I'd be looking for as many ways out as I could." They say the rats are always the first to flee a sinking ship, and this particular rat's already fled all the way to Scotland.
I'm never going to stick up for Toronto FC's front office. If TFC is running around BC Place holding the MLS Cup aloft in five years' time, I'll still be typing up posts on what a dysfunctional bunch of imbeciles they are. But Toronto FC gets a pass for this one. The only thing I can blame them for is bringing Dwayne De Rosario in at all: for making him their captain and promoting him as the face of the club when absolutely every soccer fan in North America knows that De Rosario is a magnificently talented player with an ego the size of Pearson International Airport, who takes any excuse he can get to stop using his teammates and run around looking for his own glory, who posts gaudy offensive numbers while seriously limiting the chances his strikers get, and who constantly preens for more attention and more money even at the most inappropriate moments. He has no conception of the team as anything other than a vessel to promote his own brand. While Canada's women's national soccer team is off winning trophies, he's Tweeting about how people should come to some meet-and-greet with him.
Dwayne De Rosario was a self-absorbed, greedy parasite of a player long before Toronto FC got their hands on him. If he somehow catches on with Celtic, he'll still be a self-absorbed, greedy parasite of a player. If Toronto had opened the vault at BMO Field and hired Jose Mourinho to run the team, well, he might be the Special One but Dwayne De Rosario would still be just as self-absorbed, greedy, and parasitical as ever. Toronto's front office is in disarray, it's true. But De Rosario has always been about looking out for number one no matter who he's playing for. If Toronto FC had a coach and a general manager but De Rosario thought he could advance his interests by trialling at Celtic anyway, well, he would have.
More and more Toronto fans are wishing De Rosario good luck and good riddance. They're right to do so. There's no question De Rosario is a fantastic talent, but he's also a reprehensible teammate. He's the rare great player who makes teams worse, and Toronto would be far better off investing in a balanced club than the Dwayne De Rosario Show.