Reports from the league confirm that Houston’s marquee creative midfielder Dwayne De Rosario will be headed home to his native Toronto, Canada. Toronto FC has acquired his rights in return for Julius James and allocation money.
De Rosario has won four Major League Soccer Cups, two with Houston and two with the previous incarnation of the San Jose Earthquakes, and is a three-time MLS All-Star. His creative play, clever late runs, and clinical finishing have made him a star in the league.
As a Canadian international and native of Toronto, he is an ideal signing for Toronto FC Director of Soccer Mo Johnston, who is looking to build a team that will finally make the playoffs. In their third year of existence, Toronto fell just short in 2008, and have yet to break that duck. De Rosario has made the playoffs every year he’s been in the league, since 2000.
"Dwayne is a player we've admired for quite some time. When the chance came to work with Houston to get this deal, we were obviously very happy," said Director of Soccer Mo Johnston. "I'd like to thank Chris Canetti (COO) and Dominic Kinnear (head coach) of the Dynamo for their help in bringing Dwayne to Toronto. He's a wonderful talent and I hope all of our supporters are as excited as we are that Dwayne is now a member of Toronto FC. We also want to wish Julius all the best, it's never easy to say goodbye to a young talent."
Houston is trading away its star and clutch player for a promising central defender and allocation money. The Trinidad and Tobago international will most likely be a replacement for Bobby Boswell, should Boswell make the jump to Europe in the offseason as he is expected to do. With the allocation money and extra slot in the lineup, Houston is expected to sign a Designated Player.
Also interested in acquiring a Designated Player is Toronto. De Rosario won’t take up that slot as his wages fall just below the $400,000 threshold needed to give him that status. Both teams are likely to be interested in a striker.
De Rosario began his professional career with an A-League team, the Toronto Lynx in 1997 at the age of 18. Now 30, the return to Toronto will be his homecoming.
--Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com