TFC, MLS and De Rosario: A failure to communicate By Steven Sandor Posted on December 28, 2010 1 0 928 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter There have been more than a few embarrassing moments in the four-plus seasons of Toronto FC’s existence; but the fact that Dwayne De Rosario was training with Celtic —less than a full day after acting GM Earl Cochrane vehemently denied that the team’s all-time leading scorer would be leaving the club —has to go right to the top of the charts when it comes to egg dripping off the faces of those running the Reds. De Rosario checked into Celtic’s training session Tuesday morning, wearing shirt No. 19. TFC made this terse statement: “We were unaware of Dwayne’s plan to train with Celtic and we will contact them to understand the situation. Obviously, if there is interest in a short term loan arrangement by either him or Celtic, they will need to approach us and the League formally and we will consider based on what is in TFC’s best interest.” Unaware? This move had been rumoured on Celtic message boards for weeks; but, not until yesterday, after a number of British media outlets reported that a trial was imminent, did TFC make its denial — through a story written by MLSsoccer.com’s network of writers. And TFC made its denial because of those British reports. So “unaware” seems, well, a bit disingenuous, dontcha think? The league itself did not want to comment on the DeRo situation, referring all queries back to Toronto FC. I know a lot of writers who work for MLS; they are fine, hard-working people. I used to edit the official magazine for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, so I understand what it’s like to try and pass on information about the team while actually working for that club. But the fact that torontofc.ca and MLSsoccer.com got this one so horribly wrong on Monday severely damages the credibility of league-hired journalists. It reported Cochrane’s statement that DeRo wasn’t going to Celtic, or anywhere, for that matter. How bad does it look when the media organization that’s run by the league itself blows a story so badly? Yes, it was obligated to pass on Cochrane’s lip service in regards to the DeRo situation. It went too far, though — into the depths of being just plain wrong. Still, MLS does hold the cards in regards to a DeRo move. He is in the middle of a four-year deal. He is not technically a free agent, even though the years remaining on the deal are option years. MLS didn’t allow Shalrie Joseph the chance to go to Celtic when he had the chance to go. And, it needs to be mentioned that, in 2009, then-Chivas USA star Sacha Kljestan trialed with Celtic, and it didn’t amount to a contract. It took another year before he moved to the Belgian league. Still, this has not been a stellar off-season when it comes to MLS and transparency. First, Sporting Kansas City denied that striker Teal Bunbury was on trial at Stoke City, even though the EPL side repeatedly asserted that he was indeed on trial, and is linked to a January move to England. Now, Toronto FC transform the De Rosario situation into a PR mess filled with smokescreens. De Rosario may not have spoken to TFC about going to Celtic, but the team read the reports — from a heck of a lot of very credible sources. This will only fuel the strong mistrust that exists between Toronto’s sports media and the club. In 2008, then-TFC coach John Carver exploded on the Toronto media after a draw with San Jose, attacking the “negative” press. “I wonder if it (the media) has a knock-on effect on other sports,” he fumed. That was a low point in relations between TFC and the press. Until today.