Dwayne De Rosario Archive

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Scary thought: De Ro is STILL Canada’s best scoring option

Dwayne De Rosario

Dwayne De Rosario

So, national-team coach Benito Floro called in an experimental, youthful lineup to face Iceland in a pair of friendlies, the second of which was played Monday.

Canada lost the first game, 2-1. On Monday, the Canadians had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Iceland as Hólmbert Fridjonsson converted a second-half penalty after Manjrekar James committed a foul in the box.

With so many new, fresh faces on call in the two Florida friendlies, of course it would be the elder statesmen who would score both goals. Dwayne De Rosario, currently without a club, headed home a goal in the first game and scored from the penalty spot in the second. He now has 22 goals in his Canadian national-team career. He’s padded his lead atop the Canadian all-time scoring list.

De Rosario will turn 37 years of age in May. And he still remains our country’s best scoring option. The fact that De Ro is a necessity, and not a luxury, for Floro, is a sign of just how badly we have failed as a nation to produce goal-scoring skill players. When Canada begins World Cup qualifying this June, it would be hard to make a case for not having De Ro on the squad. It might be hard to make a case that he shouldn’t start.
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Iceland beats Canada in battle of not-ready-for-prime-time players

Dwayne De Rosario

Dwayne De Rosario

How to analyze Friday’s friendly between Canada and Iceland? That’s a very difficult question.

Sure, Iceland has been a rising power, and its success in Euro qualifying has been one of the great post-World Cup national-team success stories. But, for the first of two friendlies Iceland will play against Canada, the islanders started just two players who were part of the XI that beat the Netherlands 2-0 in 2014.

Meanwhile, Canada brought in a lineup that was a mishmash of selected MLS players, MLS academy prospects, some League1 Ontario talent, a select few guys who play off the continent and, of course, five unattached players.

These weren’t close to the teams that Icelanders will see when their team gets back to European qualifying or Canadians will see when their team begins World Cup qualifying in June.
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The anticlimactic final: Montreal wins Canadian title

trophyIf you were to review the finale of the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship, you might liken it to the final season of Dexter. The bizarre final episode of Seinfeld.

Like so many TV series that don’t really know how to end on a high note, the final impression of this year’s tournament to determine Canada’s soccer champion will be remembered as the denouement, not the climax.

Montreal won Wednesday’s second leg of the final 1-0 at home, giving itself a 2-1 aggregate triumph over Toronto FC. The goal, from Felipe, came off a rebound from a Marco Di Vaio shot that had crashed off the crossbar. The goal came at the death, as TFC was pushing men forward, playing four natural attackers, in hopes of erasing that Impact away goal from the first leg.

But, despite TFC’s heavy artillery up front, finishing the game with Jermaine Defoe, Luke Moore, Gilberto and Dwayne De Rosario looking to score, the Reds rarely looked like they wanted to score. The real story was that it took 82 minutes for the match to come to life. TFC’s Jonathan Osorio cut across Impact defender Karl Ouimette, and lashed a low shot across keeper Evan Bush. The ball came off the post.
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Jekyll-and-Hyde Impact gets vital away goal in Toronto

Justin Mapp

Justin Mapp

If there’s one thing that this year’s Amway Canadian Championship has taught us — it’s that you can’t possibly figure out the Montreal Impact.

This teams goes from “off” to “on” so often, it’s like the soccer version of a strobe light. It’s not as if this team goes from good to bad from game to game; you see the Jekyll-and-Hyde transformations at least a few times per game.

The Impact got a positive result, a 1-1 draw against Toronto at BMO Field, in Wednesday’s first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final. But how the Impact got there was anything but straightforward.

For the entire first half, the Impact looked as if it was doing it’s best not to threaten Toronto’s goal. Yes, it was a bit of a shock to have Nelson Rivas come back from a lengthy injury spell, make his first touch in the second minute, shake his head, and then leave the field. But professionals need to recover and focus.
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Canada announces roster for Czech Republic and Slovenia friendlies

Karl Ouimette

Karl Ouimette

Karl Ouimette will have the chance to earn his first national-team cap.

The inclusion of the Montreal Impact defender was the most notable item on national team coach Benito Floro’s roster for friendlies against the Czech Republic (Nov. 15) and Slovenia (Nov. 19).

The roster, announced Friday, also features three unattached players — all-time Canadian leading scorer Dwayne De Rosario, who had his contract option declined by D.C. United last week, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Stefan Cebara.

“From here to the first official games [qualifying matches], it’s important to focus on our level of play,” said Floro in a release issued by the Canadian Soccer Association. “It is necessary to pay attention in how we defend and attack so for me the best result is to take it step by step to improve our level.”
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Despite some glimmers of hope, Canada shut out yet again in international play

David Edgar

David Edgar

There were some glimmers of hope that Canada’s men’s team could, goshdarnit, score a goal Tuesday against Australia.

But it didn’t come to pass. Canada now has gone eight international matches without scoring a goal. The last marker came back on March 22, against Japan. Since then, there was a 2-0 loss to Belarus, a 1-0 setback to Costa Rica in Edmonton, three Gold Cup shutouts, two goose-eggs against Mauritania and, now, this — a loss to the Socceroos.

Meanwhile, Australia scored three times, including an opener 27 seconds after the opening kickoff. It’s a good thing that Canadian national-team coach Benito Floro said before Tuesday’s friendly in London, England that the result didn’t really matter (CLICK HERE). That’s because a 3-0 scoreline from Craven Cottage suggested that Canada was as poor in the back, as well.

Josh Kennedy gave the partisan support at Craven Cottage (boy, do the Australian expats come out and support their boys, credit to them) something to roar about before the 30-second mark. Kennedy outleapt Canadian defender Nik Ledgerwood and headed home a cross from Mark Bresciano. The cross came after Canadian midfielder Julian De Guzman’s attempt at a sliding challenge just ended up leaving the ball for Bresciano to whip in to a dangerous area.

De Guzman left the match early in the first half with an injury.
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The Canadians of D.C. United celebrate unlikely USOC triumph

Dejan Jakovic

Dejan Jakovic

Three Canadian players — Dwayne De Rosario, Dejan Jakovic and Kyle Porter — may look down at their feet and discover that their soccer cleats have been replaced by glass slippers.

Their D.C. United squad became the improbable winners of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, beating Real Salt Lake 1-0 in the Utah altitude.

D.C. United currently stands dead last in MLS, with no way out of the basement. But, thanks to one of the strangest runs in the century-long history of the U.S. Open Cup tournament, D.C. United not only adds to its trophy case but earns a berth in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League.

If De Rosario, Porter and Jakovic remain with DCU in 2014, they’ll get the chance to test their mettle agains the continent’s best club teams.
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Floro satisfied with draw as Mauritania presented a “good test” for Canada

Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson exchanges pennants with Mauritanian captain Dominique Da Sylva. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson exchanges pennants with Mauritanian captain Dominique Da Sylva. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Those operating under the idea that Benito Floro was going to come in and immediately turn the Canadian men’s program around were dealt a harsh blow on Sunday when a very young Canadian team mustered a scoreless draw against Mauritania.

In his first game in charge, Floro went largely with youth in a game in Oliva, Spain, whose only highlights were hard tackles rather than quality scoring opportunities.

Eighteen players dressed for the game with those not involved (including many veterans) watching from the single concrete stand that lined one side of the field.

“It was OK because for us this was a training game,” said Floro. “The only difference between this and training is that the opponent is a national team with a good defensive structure. They made it difficult to develop our attack. But it’s a good test for us.”

Midfielder Atiba Hutchinson was one of only a handful of veteran faces to start. He, along with attacker Dwayne De Rosario, defender Dejan Jakovic and keeper Lars Hirschfeld, were largely surrounded by youth as they took on a team ranked 151st according to FIFA but was certainly an athletic bunch.
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Floro assembles a huge 33-man roster for his first Canadian national-team camp

Benito Floro

Benito Floro

New Canadian men’s national-team coach Benito Floro wants to keep a wide perspective on the program.

Floro has called a whopping 33 eligible players up for the Canadian national-team camp which kicks off Sept. 1 in Spain. The highlights of the 11-day camp are friendlies Sept. 8 and 10 against Mauritania.

But, in his first camp as the national-team coach, the Spaniard has made it clear he wants to look at as many players as he can, both young and old. So, veterans such as Iain Hume, Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario and Atiba Hutchinson will be making the trip, as will youngsters such as the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Residency’s Jackson Farmer and the Montreal Impact Academy’s Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare.

Also included in the roster are two unattached players — ex-Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield, whose contract is still being paid out by MLS (CLICK HERE) and midfielder Stefan Cebara.

One area where Floro decided not to rock the boat was at the goalkeeper position: Milan Borjan, Kenny Stamatopoulos and Lars Hirschfeld, all longstanding veterans of the Canadian program, were called up. That left out candidates such as Whitecap Simon Thomas, who played for Canada under interim coach Colin Miller, Tomer Chencinski, who is currently the No. 3 goalkeeper at Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Robert Stillo, who was called up by Miller in January but didn’t see the field. Stillo is currently on loan to Serie B side, Perugia.
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TFC’s Bendik keeps former Reds at bay

Joe Bendik

Joe Bendik

Had Toronto FC been able to beat D.C. United Saturday at RFK Stadium, the Reds would have reached a moderately significant signpost in what looks to be the club’s seventh consecutive playoff-less season.

With a win over the league-basement dwelling D.C. United side, TFC would have reached 23 points on the season, equalling the team’s point total from 2012… with nine games to spare.

TFC, though, will have to wait to get to that 23-point mark. After a wonder goal from former Red Dwayne De Rosario — who continues his trend of tormenting his former employer — TFC needed to fight back for a 1-1 draw, courtesy of Bobby Convey’s first-ever goal for the club.

So, it’s 21 points with nine games to go.

But, make no mistake, while Convey got the goal — the Reds’ man of the match was clearly Joe Bendik. It was the TFC keeper who gave the Reds the chance to get that single point. He could do nothing to stop De Rosario’s magical strike; the Canadian took a ball on the right side, then drifted towards the middle, at the same time going away from goal, before unleashing a long drive that curled inside the post and under the bar.
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