DeRo Saga Coming To An End?
In an off season with a wholesale change of the coaching and front office staff, a near revolt from fans over prices, new kits, a dozen players being released and trialist after trialist coming through the door, Dwayne De Rosario has somehow managed to be the story of the off season for Toronto FC in these last few months. And there has not exactly been a lack of other things to talk about now has there?
Starting with the now infamous on field “show me the money” moment last fall, followed by his controversial “trial” with Celtic in January and with hints of holding out if his contract is not renegotiated before TFC left for Turkey, Dwayne himself has certainly been without a doubt the biggest story for Toronto FC since the end of last season.
However since leaving for Turkey, and subsequently returning this past week, there has been next to no mention from either the player or the club about progress on what are apparently continuing contract talks. We have no idea if there has been progress or not and where this leaves the club and the player going into the start of the MLS season in Vancouver, now less than a month away.
So we go from this being “the story” to virtual silence.
What conclusions, if any, can we draw from this lack of news about DeRo, his contract and his future with this club? Where does this story go from here?
Could it be that Dwayne has resigned himself to staying in Toronto and playing? Part of me definitely thinks so. No matter the specifics of the circumstances of the now infamous Glasgow sojourn and his public pronouncements of not being happy once again with his contract it could simply be that DeRo realizes that he has next to no leverage to “force” TFC to do what he wants them to do, giving him that elusive DP deal. Both precedent and pronouncements from Major League Soccer tell us that they are loathe to give Dwayne that Designated Player status. He is after all under contract and if he does not play he does not get paid. The club has apparently chosen to not let this play out in the media either.
There has been also significant fan anger directed towards De Rosario in these past months from many die hard TFC fans. Large numbers of supporters have questioned publicly if he is worth keeping around. Many have called for him to be traded and even larger numbers of supporters (myself included in this space) have called for him to be stripped of his captaincy based on his previous actions, which for a lot of us are hard to either forgive or forget.
But as the days go on I do not think that this will happen. The club and player seem to have decided to try and wipe the slate clean (at least publicly) and try and carry on like none of the nonsense of the past few months has ever happened. Collective amnesia can be convenient I guess from time to time. Dwayne De Rosario will be the Captain of this club this season. He will be an integral part of the club on the field. He will continue to be the a large part of the public face of the club in marketing and advertising.
And realistically did we all really expect much different to take place? Both sides appear to have decided that part of the way ahead for player and club this season is to give Dwayne only part of what he wants. We may soon hear from the club that Dwayne’s contract had been renegotiated to see him get more money, in the form of allocation dollars. He will not be given the kind of contract he feels he is worthy of however… And he is going to have to come to terms with that reality. The club and the league (one in the same when it comes to player contracts) have decided that he is not going to get what he feels he deserves.
Dwayne now has three things left to do. First he needs to play out his contract and be satisfied (at least publicly) with whatever arrangement TFC/MLS comes up with to give him more money. He needs to keep his nose clean when it comes to his public pronouncements. And he needs to continue to do what, to his great credit, he has done on the field in his time here, perform and score goals.
What do you think? Your comments are always welcome and of course are always appreciated.