DeRo Threatens To Walk
On Thursday I will be posting a video blog from the TFC Media day, including some exclusive video from new TFC acquisition Nathan Sturgis. But before I get to the media day the DeRo situation has sort of blown up on this Wednesday afternoon/evening.
I was lucky enough to attend the press conference Wednesday and the event itself, with questions asked and questions answered, was not the only interesting thing about it. Today was all about trying to get a read on what was not being said through the body language on display. Being in the room I can tell you that there was indeed some tension between DeRo and the club, but that the process of moving on from this, however it turns out, has apparently started.
Where it ends??? No freaking clue.
What I found most interesting was Dwayne’s body language. When asked about fan anger directed towards him he verbally and physically shook it off like it did not matter to him one iota. That surprised me a great deal considering how much time and effort he has put into cultivating his image within the community since coming back to Toronto. And within the TFC fanbase there are larger and larger numbers of fans that are becoming increasingly angry with this ongoing situation.
And when asked by the Star’s Cathal Kelly about how he felt when TFC called him back from Glasgow/would he have liked to stay there, he looked almost on the verge of being visibly angry. I really got the impression from him that he felt, and still feels, hard done by by Toronto FC in all of this and that he will be damned if he does not get what he wants no matter the price.
In the scrum afterward Dwayne explicitly stated that not reporting and playing for Toronto in Vancouver in March would indeed be a possibility if he does not get what he feels he is worthy of, namely that elusive designated player deal he hungers for. And me thinks Dwayne has once again made it harder to a degree on himself to get his contract renegotiated by not at least publicly trying to be more conciliatory. I think he is getting terrible advice.
As kids might read this I need to keep the language clean… There’s a saying that goes something like “…don’t poop where you eat…”. Today in a lot of ways I feel Dwayne De Rosario kind of did just that. Without a doubt negotiations are happening. Both DeRo and the team said as much today. The possibility is still there, bad blood aside, for Dwayne to perhaps get some or even all of what he wants. What I find truly inexplicable is that he apparently thinks making a public display of defiance, as he did today that embarrasses the team, helps him get what he wants.
In some parts there was some hope that today’s event would at least be the mechanism for Dwayne De Rosario and Toronto FC to at least publicly ratchet down the rhetoric and try and bring their disagreements behind closed doors, giving themselves the time to work on getting things resolved one way or the other. Instead what we now have is both TFC head honcho Tom Anselmi and Major League Soccer Vice President Tom Durbin responding this evening publicly to what DeRo said, rebuking him over his demands and threats of holding out, ratcheting the pressure levels up even higher.
On Thursday morning Toronto FC heads to Turkey to start training camp. And they head there with their captain and best player in almost open revolt over his contract and future with the club. Whether they come back in two weeks with this issue either resolved or not will remain to be seen. What I will say is that the possibility of some sort of amicable resolution today or tomorrow looks a lot less likely than it did yesterday.