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Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's a bloody big De Ro

Yeah... let's just pretend that didn't happen

A few weeks back, the prodigal return of Scarberian superstar Dwayne De Rosario was the talk of TFC Land. Yesterday, Jermain Defoe happened. BOOM! De Ro was now the side dish of off-season signings. A few hours later... BOOMIER! TFC was/is in the middle of trying to snatch Michael Bradley away from AS Roma. De Ro thus became the whipped cream on a Double-DP Buster Parfait. And that is perfect.

The return of De Ro to his hometown club after his first spell ended rather acrimoniously was a polarizing announcement to TFC support. For now it seems firmly "love him or hate him" (although much hate will subside after the first stutter step goal celebration methinks) and some fear that things may not turn out well again. However, this is a different player coming to what may be a drastically different club.

Re-unveiled again today as the newest member of TFC, De Ro is indeed coming back as the aforementioned whipped cream. Unlike his original spell, he won't be "the man", he won't be expected to do the heavy lifting, and he won't be the face where the local media's cameras turn to first in good times or bad. Again - that is perfect.

Instead, De Ro will have every opportunity to successfully return home for what is likely his final professional stop on a great career. Together with the club, he can heal or hopefully erase many old wounds and help turn the heavy page on a long, miserable 7-year chapter. On the pitch, he can attempt to prove the old dog has a few tricks left in him and do what he does well - thumb his nose at doubters. If successful at most of these goals, TFC will be the benefactor.

Make no mistake, De Ro's return may end up as a footnote when this off-season's history is written. Defoe and (likely) Bradley will be the big deals but there is no risk apart from finances to those signings. There isn't a team in MLS that wouldn't take either of those players but many would balk at bringing back a player with such a turbulent past with the club. It will never be the "bloody biggest" deal of 2014 but it may very well be TFC's bloody boldest.

In case you didn't now, Thursdays are "Buy One Scarberian, Get the Second Free!" at TFC. A nice little story was slipped in before DeRoPalooza began as TFC announced that they have signed homegrown academy product Jordan Hamilton. The 17-year old Scarborough-native becomes the ninth homegrown player to graduate to The Reds' first-team.

Hamilton has impressed during his time with TFC Academy and the Canadian national program but there were a few questions about whether or not he would be signed by the big club. A change in academy direction, with Thomas Rongen departing, may have meant a different analysis of the young forward who will hopefully be loaned out to get minutes as he works towards a TFC debut in the future.

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