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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scarberians at the Gate - De Ro comes home

"No Raivis, you can't come back too. "

Someone check Lake Ontario by Bluffer's Park because it may be parted to welcome back Toronto football's biggest prodigal son - Dwayne De Rosario. Things just got biblical.

More than two-and-a-half seasons have passed since the "cheque-signing motion heard 'round the world" (well at least well past Malvern) but today TFC have welcomed back the best, and most controversial, player in their history. The whispers began when D.C. United decided to make the 35-year old available for the Re-Entry Draft and today The Reds flipped the page on what may be one of the big stories of the 2014 season. Possibly beyond.

This move will immediately polarize large sections of TFC support. Many are still firmly entrenched in the "Me Ro" camp, seeing the player's departure as an orchestrated, selfish deed. Others (ourselves unabashedly biased) see the actions of the management during De Ro's first tenure at home as ones that made his admittedly peacock-ego too ruffled to continue. Did he act out a little too much? Yes. Would you have if faced with the same issues and broken promises in your job? We would have.

On the pitch, and returning at a salary that will in no way hamper TFC going forward, De Rosario will be watched closely. Last season at D.C. the animated Scarberian performed a tale of two seasons. Injury and age seemed to hamper his output and usual swagger during the regular season albeit on a woeful club. Contrasting that however was a goal-a-game pace tear during the U.S. Open Cup that propelled United to the Final. Which De Ro returns to his hometown will remain a mystery until deep springtime.

TFC will not be getting the De Ro they once had. Despite being fanatically healthy, he will be entering his 17th season of professional football and wear-and-tear catches up. However, he is still naturally gifted and could be exactly the foil that TFC needs to avoid teams attempting to shut down their promised big-time striker - whether it is Jermain Defoe or other. Anyone that says "De Ro to Defoe at BMO" doesn't sound sexy as f--k is a liar.

No contest, Dwayne De Rosario is the finest player in TFC history. Some however will justifiably argue that history should be left where it is and that "you can't go home again". It is indeed a gamble for T-Bez and Co. but if it fails it won't disable the team like it did the first time around. He is coming back as a player, (with an admittedly dramatic story) but not as the captain, the superstar, the leader and the conquering hero. Just a midfielder.

In the glass half-full version (I know! It's still us writing. Honest.) it could turn out very well for all sides. If De Ro can swallow some pride, realize he wasn't perfect during his first TFC stop and find peace in his new role, he can perhaps heal the rifts left over and end his career at home as it should. For the club, they can perhaps work towards burying those managerial skeletons of the past that so damaged the relationship with players like De Ro and others and finally wipe the slate fully clean.

For player, club and indeed the wounded supporters in the city, it could be a redemption song that sounds very sweet.


  1. "...and returning at a salary that will in no way hamper TFC going forward.." Do we know the salary?

    "...He is coming back as a player, (with an admittedly dramatic story) but not as the captain, the superstar, the leader and the conquering hero. Just a midfielder...." Let's hope so.

    If those assumptions are proven true, and he's cool with both of them, this could well work out very nicely.


    1. Well with the salary bit - we must assume based on T-Bez's salary wonk background and all the parping about the cap in the last few years, it will be fair market value. If it's not, then you are correct to question it and more fool them... again.

      As far as the second, well yes it's an assumption that a guy in his 17th year must know where his career is. I'd be shocked if he gets near a captain's armband except in emergencies and he will be a rank and file starter. Can his ego take that? You would hope so but if he screws this up - more fool him... again.

      Major IF's no doubt - but it will be a wild ride and I fall just to the side of reward over risk on this one.

  2. who exactly am I supposed to trust in terms of judging his current character and fit into the dressing room? The math geek? the salesman? The guy that alienated the three most loyal and professional guys on our squad this year?

    1. Dero made his mistakes - agree. But if we can't forgive past mistakes how can any body still support TFC? We forgive them every year don't we?

      It's up to Dero to prove to everyone. If it blows up again we are no further ahead or backwards IMO

    2. Actually, we don't forgive them. We rail against them and chase most of them off.

      If he takes the dressing room down with him then yes, we are a lot further back

    3. I mean we forgive the club in a way. Year after year they have disappointed and worse but many of us refuse to stop going.

      I hear ya on taking the dressing room down but if they avoided signing anyone with a bad past the scouting list would be short.