Top Stories

DeRosario’s MVP award sweeter after season of upheaval




CARSON, Calif. — His career already full of accomplishments, Dwayne De Rosario was nevertheless humble in accepting his 2011 MLS Most Valuable Player trophy Friday afternoon at the Home Depot Center.

Playing for three different teams in one season clearly had an effect on his perspective.

"I would like to thank first, my family, who stood by me throughout this difficult year with all the transitions," the 33-year-old midfielder from just outside Toronto said. "It hasn't been easy relocating from place to place. I'd like to thank the players, my supporting cast, who have really helped me to achieve this award.

"This is definitely the highest honor that I have ever received in my career and I humbly accept it," De Rosario said.

De Rosario won the award for the first time in his 11 seasons in the league and adds his latest piece of hardware to a trophy case that includes two MLS Cup MVPs, two Goal of the Year Awards and six Best XI designations, including this season.

De Rosario, also this year's Golden Boot winner, scored 16 goals and added 12 assists in three separate stints with Toronto FC, the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United.

The respect of other MLS players, who overwhelming voted for De Rosario (three times as many votes for him than any other candidate), meant a lot to him.

"It's a mutual respect," De Rosario said. "I'm a fan of the league as well, I don't just play in the league. I admire a lot of players in this league and to get that kind of respect from the players… that's the greatest feeling one could ever receive, is when fellow players identify with your hard work and dedication and commitment to not only on the field, but off the field as well, try to develop and grow this sport in across North America."

De Rosario was joined by his wife Brandy, 14-year-old daughter Asha and younger sons Osaze and Adisa at the trophy ceremony.

He talked about the many changes and adjustments he had to make going from team to team to team. And that was just the work part.

"Family relocating, schools, doctors, just living, adapting," he said. "All that you have to bear in mind and you have to do it overnight."

De Rosario is enjoying his time in the U.S. capital and hopes he has a longer-term future with DCU that includes adding to the club's tradition. He's under contract through next season and the club has an option after that. 

"We do think that Dwayne has more than one year left in the tank at a very high level," team president Kevin Payne said, adding that he'll sit down with De Rosario's agent to talk about an extenstion soon.

Payne said the team had once pegged De Rosario as a prospect back in 2000. But Frank Yallop chose one spot ahead of DCU for San Jose in the supplemental draft that year, and De Rosario went there.

"I've never seen a better performance than what we got from Dwayne," Payne said. "We're very pleased for him and think he absolutely deserved this award."

Payne tried to acquire De Rosario from Toronto this season, then later worked out a deal with the Red Bulls, who needed salary cap room.

De Rosario also congratulated MVP vote-getters Brek Shea of FC Dallas and Brad Davis of Houston, then said he'd happily trade the trophy for the chance to play for the MLS Cup Sunday.

Though he didn't say it in so many words, being chosen MVP seemed to be sweet vindication for the way things ended for De Rosario in Toronto, his hometown club. Not long after scoring the 8,000th goal in MLS history, De Rosario was shipped to New York in a trade after reports said he sought more money from TFC.

"It was just poor handling more on the club's part than anything else," De Rosario said. "While I was on Toronto, and even up to the last couple of games… I could have easily handled it much differently. Believe me, it took a lot out of me to go up there (for the season opener in Vancouver) and perform 100 percent, but I know that at the end of the day, I owe it to the players and the fans."

De Rosario has no hard feelings toward fans in Toronto and looks forward to returning to BMO Field to play World Cup qualifiers for Canada there in the near future.


  1. Regardless of DeRo, i don’t think there is a futbol observer on the planet that would apply the term “good coach” to Hans Backe. He was the worst coach in the league hands down. Can anybody seriously argue that any coach did less with as much talent and budget? Or lost his team more completely both on the field and in the locker room? Kind of reminds you of the underachieving Mexico national team a few years back (oops, Backe was also part of that experiment)

  2. Thanks for proving my point Jeremy–I’m glad you’ve seen the light. It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong and your stats certainly show that.

    As I mentioned, with injuries to Hamid, Jackovic and others, the defense became a sieve. DCU had the worst GA record of any team in playoff contention. Then the offensive support disappeared. Pontius was lost for the last 3 months. Davies was streaky all year but got hurt against Columbus and never regained form. Davies put the team on his back. Out of the 5 wins, he scored the game winning goal in 3 of them and providing the assist on the game winning goal in the other 2. In the “lots of ties” he also scored or assisted on the tying goal in 3 of those. That means that DeRo’s goal or assist produced 18 points for DCU. That means he was responsible for the goal that produced the win or saved the tie in 18 out of 31 total points–that’s over half.

  3. And there’s no correlation between having De Ro and having success as a team.
    There’s a great correlation, however, between De Ro having high statistics and the fact that he plays on bad teams.
    He’s been far better on Toronto and DC (bad teams) than he’s been on Houston or San Jose (good teams).

  4. The MVP was well-deserved. The only thing that irritates me are athletes who thanks their “supporting cast.” They say it in basketball all the time, but you don’t hear it much in soccer. Just sounds arrogant and condescending. It’s a team game

    That said, DeRo showed his worth.

  5. Soler and Backe – this is yet another reminder of how completely incompetent you are. Dax McCarty for DeRo was just one of countless dumb player and coaching staff decisions you made…but this was towards top of list! Well done indeed DeRo.

  6. Considering that he scored 3 game winners and set up 4 game winning/tying assists they would have 0 wins without him.

    You’re really reaching, you obviously don’t like him.

  7. DC’s record without Rosario- Four wins, six losses, lots of ties.

    With Rosario- Five wins, eight losses, lots of ties.

    Where is the massive improvement when he joined?

  8. Wasn’t noticeably better…hmmm….He scored 3 game winning goals and had 4 game winning or game tying assists. He was responsible for the deciding goal in every win DCU had after he arrived. He was voted man of the match or MLS player of the week 7 times. Do I have to throw Spencer’s quote at you–that if DeRo doesn’t win MVP than something is seriously wrong….

    Here’s the deal: you say DCU wasn’t “noticeably better” and you are misinformed. Second half of the season, the defense was a sieve. Offensive support was missing. The team should have gone winless the last 3 months. DeRo put the team on his back. He WAS the entire offense and b/c of the defense liabilities, the ONLY reason the team was still in playoff contention until the last week.

  9. didn’t fit in Toronto; cap room brought in Frings and Koevermans (who scored 0.95 goals per 90 minutes; next closest who played at least 700 minutes was at 0.58 goals per 90)

    new york’s goal was as leaky as my sink. Before trading DeRo, they had gone 10 games in a row without a clean sheet. After trading DeRo, 2 of their next 4 were clean sheets. They ended the season with 4 of their last 7 as clean sheets. They needed the cap relief to sign Frank Rost (who i don’t feel worked out as well as they hoped in the end)

  10. I love that this board rails on Hans Backe 24/7 as the worst coach in MLS. Yet when it comes time to credit DeRosario for an amazing season, Hans Backe’s decision to let him go is not questioned, yet used against DeRosario.

    You get one or the other. Either Hans Backe is inept, or he got rid of a non-valuable player as a good coach should.

  11. Good to see a guy who was viewed as replaceable by two teams and then played on a third team who wasn’t noticeably better with him and missed the playoffs get his due recognition as the MVP.

  12. how is it that this dude is not playing in Europe? He’s Canada’s best player, they should be paying him the Big bucks to get him to promote the game across their country. He definitely deserves $500 K a season.


Leave a Comment