Sizing up the DeRosario-Celtic mess

Dwayne DeRosario (Getty Images)

This what we do know at this point about Dwayne DeRosario's visit to Scotland to spend time with Celtic.

He went there for the purposes of a trial, only neither Toronto FC or Major League Soccer knew about it.

Whether it was simply a miscommunication, or a flagrant act by DeRosario, the whole thing became a mess when it became clear to the public that TFC had no idea hat was going on with its best player.

That brought us this statement from Toronto AFTER the club realized DeRosario was training with Celtic (and after making public statements denying that DeRosario was heading to Celtic):

"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."

What has followed has been all sorts of blame shifting and story changing. Celtic is now saying DeRosario is not on trial, and was always in Glasgow just to train. Now Toronto and MLS appear ready to let DeRosario's visit go on despite the unauthorized way it began.

The biggest question now is why did it happen?

Why did DeRosario go to Celtic without permission? Was it really just DeRosario failing to secure permission he thought he had? Was it DeRosario's way of expressing unhappiness with the unsettled state of affairs at Toronto FC, which has no head coach and an interim general manager?

Or was it something more sinister, like DeRosario trying to get out of his Toronto FC contract in order to score the big European payday he may be running out of time on getting? His action could have led to the voiding of his MLS contract, though the league and Toronto FC have clearly decided for damage control rather than going after one of the best players in league history.

One thing is clear, this whole situation has put a major dent in DeRosario's reputation. He's beloved in Toronto, but TFC fans are clearly not happy with this latest fiasco and you wonder how many TFC fans and team officials would rather see DeRosario stay in Scotland.

Toronto FC isn't completely blameless. The fact that the club still hasn't hired a head coach or permanent general manager couldn't have helped this whole situation, and each passing day makes it a more worrisome situation for a club that was supposed to have a good off-season after hiring Juergen Klinsmann as an advisor.

What do you think of this mess? Think DeRosario should apologize and/or be punished for this situation? See him leaving MLS now? Think it was just a misunderstanding that will be forgotten by the start of the 2011 season?

Share your thoughts below.

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78 Responses to Sizing up the DeRosario-Celtic mess

  1. afc says:

    If he went behind everyone’s back then it sounds like he doesn’t want to stay in Toronto. Why leave without telling anyone if you wanted to eventually come back?

    Did he not think anyone would find out? Most clubs announce when a player is on trial or training with them it was going to come out at some point.

  2. Byron says:

    If Toronto paid him instead of the bums they keeping bringing in this wouldn’t be a problem.

    I love the MLS but I also believe that the league should not hold players hostage if they can make more money overseas. Most players aren’t making seven figures so every bit is meaningful.

    I hated Twellman but felt the league did him an injustice by not allowing him to leave to English Championship a few seasons ago. Now due to injuries he is retired.

  3. William the Terror says:

    He’s 32 years old and a spoiled child. Let him go to Celtic and sit on the bench. Then we MLS fans can smugly claim that the SPL is a “retirement destination” for OUR older players.

  4. bgnewf says:

    I keep thinking about motive in all of this. It’s like that scene on Oliver Stone’s “JFK” where Donald Sutherland tells Kevin Costner to think about motive.

    Who has something to gain in all of this?

    Dwayne De Rosario does.

    As has been well documented, on numerous occasions in the past up to and including the past few weeks, DeRo has complained publicly and/or privately about his contracts on numerous occasions dating back to at least 2006.

    He is locked into a deal that he does not like. He feels slighted/disrespected that de Guzman and Mista made much more than he does last season for what he feels are players of less value to the club.

    He feels that the club (in fairness under the previous management regime) promised him a DP deal, which is the ONLY way he can get more money in MLS, as he is already on a maximum non-DP contract. He feels that they reneged on a promise. A question worthy of debate no doubt.

    His deal runs for two more years and public/private pleading to renegotiate has, according to him, fallen on deaf ears.

    He has no leverage. DeRo is under contract to MLS and only MLS/TFC can approve a move to a league outside of North America or trade his rights to another MLS club.

    He allegedly asks TFC for permission to trial at a foreign club. He is allegedly told by the club that he can pending a signed agreement (normal procedure in these kinds of cases). Insurance issues and terms of the arrangement have to be worked out.

    As TFC allegedly had no overt wish to lend out DeRo it was left up to DeRo’s people to arrange a trial, in this case with Glasgow Celtic. As it was the player’s wish to trial there and not TFC’s the responsibility to arrange the legalities/paperwork was up to DeRo and his people to take care of. Agents do this in the international soccer world thousands of times per year.

    TFC claims to have received no paperwork. No paperwork means no trial at Celtic is in the cards in their eyes.

    What would be the possible motive for TFC to lie about signing paperwork with Glasgow Celtic for a loan/trial for De Rosario? What would there be to gain in lying?

    Has TFC handled this well?? Of course not! They could have been more forthright in providing more background information/context yesterday. They could have even provided information about the possibility of something happening with Celtic. I think their response was inept, but at the end sincere. At most in my humble opinion we are looking at a PR fail from TFC, nothing more sinister.

    And would all this garbage be happening today if Anselmi and Klinsmann had taken their fingers out of their asses and gotten new management in charge in less than 100+ days since Mo/Preki were fired??? I guess we will never know the answer to that very valid question now either.

    At the end of the day it all comes back to motive…

    And until Glasgow Celtic weighs in stating what they know or do not know of the alleged arrangement between them and DeRo/TFC we are all dancing on the head of a bloody pin.

  5. cj says:

    You wonder why the Dynamo got rid of DeRo for Julius James? DeRo was becoming a “soccer diva” and that is why he became expendable. This is the two edged sword of a good player like DeRo. You love his on the field play but then he pulls stunts like this off the field where he has people in his ear telling him he is getting messed around and he should go to Europe where he can get a big payday.

  6. Old Pueblo FC says:

    Why should he remain loyal to a team that clearly does not have any serious intentions to win? While he probably should have gone about this in another way, I’m glad he’s trying to move his career forward in the direction it deserves to go. He’s a good player and should have a shot to move on – at the very least for a short-term Lando-loan.

  7. doug says:

    TFC as a club has bigger problems than catering to DeRo – an aging striker whose impact on the game (specifically getting wins) has not been great for his two years in toronto and will only get worse in the future as he gets older and slower. why give this guy a DP contract?

    they should cut their losses and start building a young team with athleticism and an ability to move the ball.

  8. J says:

    I am sorry but this sentiment is just silly to me. No one forced De Rosario to sign this contract he currently is in, and has 2 years left on. Nor did anyone force Twellman to sign his. Their problem isn’t that mean old MLS won’t let them leave, it’s that they choose short term security and bigger payments immediately when they signed their deals. Now it’s not MLS fault that suddenly a better offer has come up down the road for the players, especially when both players are vital to their teams success, why would they sell them? They invested in the players, gave them what they asked for in bigger contracts…just because a better deal for them comes along doesnt mean MLS or their clubs owe them a damn thing. If you want to go play abroad, here is an idea, don’t sign 4 year contracts genius.

  9. soccerroo says:

    the only reason the league would void his contract is if he got injured. It wopuld make no sense to void it if they can get money by selling him.

  10. J says:

    BTW, if I am Toronto, not only do I levy a huge fine on him, I suspend him for the first month of the season for this blatant act of insubordination.

  11. one_2_three_5 says:

    Yeah, it would have been really “sinister” to try to get a higher paying job with a better employer. Maybe you have uncritically accepted the whole system of corporate sports masters “loaning” and “selling” people, when, in fact, it’s a moral outrage?

  12. PhillyMLS says:

    Like J said, DeRo only has himself to blame. In 2009 when he moved to TFC he asked for a new contract and more money. He got a new 4 year deal that was at least work 100k more a year. If he hadn’t done that he would be a free agent now instead. He took the security of guarnteed money over 4 years and now he isn’t happy. Too bad. If he was playing poorly would he say “guys, I’m just not playing up to the level you paid for. Let’s rework my contract to a lower number.”?

  13. Will says:

    I really think there is more to the story than what TFC is saying. I highly doubt that DeRo would just go to Celtic on his own without permission, and I doubt Celtic would have taken him without permission as it would violate FIFA rules. TFC is a backwards franchise and is slowly becoming the MLS version of the LA Clippers.

  14. maka says:

    he’s kind of… old

  15. Kosh says:

    ..and yet another +1

  16. alex says:

    thank you. And supposedly TFC was already told of the intention for him to go on trial, but they play dumb because they haven’t received / filled out the paper work.

    I don’t think Celtic would be caught out like this. TFC rendered clueless as usual.

    Signed – self loathing TFC Fan

  17. Second City says:

    The league only has themselves to blame.

    When Beckham sought out his own loan deal, despite MLS publicly stating they wouldn’t allow such a thing, they allowed this precedent to take place.

    That’s something I’ve stated on several occasions, especially, with these ridiculous short-term loan spells that only hurt our league…not enhance it.

    I don’t blame DeRo one bit and given their fiasco of a situation in Toronto, nor should anyone.

    MLS playing “damage control” and allowing this trial/training/whatever…to continue shows me that this type of behavoir will only become more frequent.

    Catering to Becks led to this situation, and until the league grows some brass-balls….golden-balls example will continue to reign.

  18. BellusLudas says:

    As the owner of a company I understand the balance required to keep good employees and simultaneously keep my payroll from bankrupting me.

    In this case I see Toronto FC as negligent in payroll maintenance. Yes, you have DeRo under contract but when he is consistently out performing other employees who are paid better you must either give him a raise or get rid of the slack in order to keep a positive work environment.

  19. fenel says:

    man Dero will not sit on the bench if he goes to celtic. Have you seen the quality of the SPL. Also, remember he was the one keeping Holden on the bench.

  20. Josh D says:

    I think the problem is in most other soccer leagues, a player signs long term contacts for safety reasons (if they get injured, start playing poorly, etc they still get some pay). HOWEVER, in every other league beside MLS, the majority of the time a player can work his way up to better contract terms/more money for playing well.

    Look at N’Gog for Liverpool – has two years left but they are offering him more money and a longer contract to say thanks.

    The same with a company – I join a company on XX amount of wages, however I get paid more and more if I do better, even if my original signed contract said I would be making XX.

    The reward structure of MLS is in the prehistoric age. It’s hard to bring in player due to such strict regulations and without easing things for the players currently there, you’re screwing over them as well.

    It’s difficult. DeRosario shouldn’t get off free at all (depending on the real situation) as he signed the contract, but like a kid and his parents – if you’re too strict, he’s going to rebel.

  21. Tim M. says:

    De Ro deserves DP money. He’s the second best player from North America playing in our league behind Donovan.

  22. J says:

    Don’t you see how your example is wrong? DeRosario was given a raise, just a few years ago! Which I believe was the second raise in a few years he received. So don’t give me this crap, players in MLS get raises all the time when deserved. Look at Najar in DC, one year in and he already got a new contract.

  23. Gregg says:

    I”m not surprised. The way MLS handles contracts and the draconian way they treat their ‘assets’ (see Twellman) means that in order for guys to get fair wages or push their game to the next level they will have to resort to these types of measures. I don’t condone his actions but in part feel sorry for the way these guys get handled. The lesson is think hard before signing a contract with MLS and make sure its not for very long.

  24. RSLnPortland says:

    Based on what DeRo’s agent and manager have said, TFC FO was aware of the situation and the trip to Celtic was never a trial. They point out a number of reasons why this is the case. Given the current chaos in the TFC FO, I would side with the player on this. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had been informed and either failed to communicate the situation or was canned already. TFC is in absolute chaos right now, which is a shame. TFC should be a pearl of MLS but its being run by swine.

  25. Thorpinski says:

    and by that logic if you pay top dollar to a player and get poor performance do you redo the players contract to a lesser amount? It’s not an easy situation, but both teams and players should honor their contracts or not sign them at all.

    If things don’t work out i.e. DeRO hopefully them team and player /agent have open enough communication to work something-out in the interest of both parties. In this caase they can sell him to Celtic and use the money on players who want to play for them.

  26. JoeW says:

    First, DeRo should be fined. He could have gone on trial, gotten hurt and then TFC is out its best player.

    Second, the argument that “no-one forced DeRo to sign a contract” (and Twellman too) is really very naive, exceedingly naive. Twellman signed a dirt-poor contract after he was let go by Munich 1860. No-one forced him to sign but it was a case of supporting American soccer and going someplace he figured he could restart his career. The Revs mgmt team than stuck it to him–the only way he could get more money than his low-ball deal was to either play to the conclusion of the contract OR sign for an upgrade that locked him into more years. Then, when he had a team that wanted to purchase him (and he wanted to go), the Revs refused to sell. And shortly after his career was killed. Twellman lost out on a lot of money, a chance to play in Europe and despite it all gave his all for his team and teammates. The argument that “no-one forced Twellman to sign” is disingenuous. Yeah, he could have kept playing for modest upgrades on $30k a year. Or he could have sat out a year or two and not played. For professional athletes with limited careers (and Twellman is poster boy #1 for that issue), you have limited windows to make serious money or go to Europe.

    The vast majority of clubs around the world sell a player when they have a purchase option and that player wants to leave–there’s something about insisting on keeping a player who doesn’t want to be with you that’s kind of stupid. Or, they make it up to the player who wants to leave–by enticing him to stay.

    FWIW, TFC didn’t develop DeRo. They didn’t “invest” in the player (but acquired him when he was already a star). He’s clearly played well for the club but also has tremendous discontent (recall last year’s goal celebration) to the point that it becomes divisive for the club.

  27. PetedeLA says:

    Thank you. While I agree with what some people said above, I think you raise the salient point here.

    Being a soccer player is not a factory job.

    And even in the worst factory, nobody comes along who performs worse/less and makes twice your money.

    Also, in DeRo’s defense, Klinsmann was probably in California.

    I don’t know for sure, but I’d wager BIG MONEY he is not in Toronto at this moment.

    He was almost never in Germany while he was head coach of the national team– only when he absolutely needed to be.

    So maybe he just thought to himself, “I can turn to this guy, but how do I know he’s not quitting.”

    Or maybe it’s a case of..”Easier to say I’m sorry then to ask permission.”

  28. b says:

    “TFC is a backwards franchise and is slowly becoming the MLS version of the LA Clippers.”

    This point is a lot more important and should be a far bigger concern for anyone interested in the MLS, then whether or not an individual player is being a whiny punk.

  29. CSD says:

    TFC is a pathetic joke. They have no manager an interim GM and they are owned by a corporation that only cares about making as much money as possible. They only have 16 players under contract and 3 of them are goalies. Besides DeRosario, Frei is the only other player on their roster worth a damn and he will be heading to Europe once his contract is up. Screw you TFC.

  30. JoeW says:

    Yes, exactly–look at Najar. DC United has done a lot of things wrong lately. But one thing the team has always tried very hard to do is: when a player has shown that he deserves more money they’re perfectly willing to tear up the contract, even mid-season, and replace it with what they believe is fair. For instance, in Troy Perkins’ rookie year, he was on a developmental contract and earned a starting spot. DCU tore up the contract believing that anyone on the senior roster, let alone someone starting, deserved starting money. He wasn’t locked into significantly more time by this measure and DCU wasn’t required to do so, it was just about fairness. Najar was under contract for at least 3 more years at a pittance. But DCU decided to take a significant salary cap hit to send a message to Najar. That message is:
    –just b/c you had a contract doesn’t mean we’re going to stick it to you
    –we will be fair to you even if it means tearing up a contract
    –at some point when you get offers from other clubs, keep us in mind and how we treated you

    The argument that some people are making (like “J” and “PhillyMLS”) would have had DCU just tell Najar “tough–you signed a deal, so live with it. We’ve got you locked into minimal amounts for the next 3 years–you signed it so you’re required to honor it.” The reality is that when a player isn’t happy it will eventually show–on the field or among the team. That doesn’t mean you do whatever is necessary to keep a player happy. But it does mean that you either sell the player OR pay more money OR don’t acquire players who you believe aren’t honorable.

  31. JoeW says:

    Frankly, I suspect there is a lot of blame to go around. I wouldn’t be surprised if DeRo sent some kind of message to the organization and no-one acted or thought “hey, if this guy gets hurt than we’re SOL!”. TFC has made some bad decisions through their history. Lovely stadium, great fan support and….not much else. Unless they get things straightened out on the field, some of that fan support is likely to start slipping.

  32. CSD says:

    This whole story sounds like a load of crap from TFC. Maybe they could try spending some resources on improving their product instead of wasting everyone’s time with these nonsensical press releases. This is what they really would say if they wanted to keep it real:

    “Dero is a great player that has continually performed above the level of everyone else in this organization and we are sorry for being crap since the beginning of our existence. We wish him the best in his future endeavors and we will start taking our responsibilities seriously in bringing our great fans a product they deserve. We have had no on the field plan and we have wasted numerous resources and opportunities to improve. We apologize to Dero and the fans for failing to follow any semblance of a plan since our inception and failing to produce a quality product.”

  33. PetedeLA says:

    Can we get an “Amen”.

    OK. I guess nothing else needs to be said.

    I wish DeRo the best of luck.

    How many years was he SUCH a great player, but didn’t get the financial props?

    I’m hoping for a happy ending.

  34. Rob in SJ says:

    As a SJ fan and a huge DeRo fan I would love to see SJ make him a DP. He and Yallop have had lots of success together in the past. He is exactly the type of attack minded player that we need. The fans in SJ love him and he deserves the money. BRING DeRo to SJ!!!

  35. jason says:

    Fear not, my Canadian friends! Vancouver will clean up on TFC! Montreal is coming soon. Plenty to look forward to in Canada!

  36. Knuckles says:

    +8000 for referencing “JFK”.

  37. BellusLudas says:

    By my logic I don’t tie myself to contracts that are not performance based…TFC made poor administrative choices and now is reaping the reward.

  38. AL17 says:


    They didn’t know. Celtic would have had to get clearance from someone in the league before they’d even allow it. The Fines they’d face both from UEFA and FIFA aren’t worth it for ANY player on the planet.

    Derosario just magically appearing to train with Celtic is like Chievo and Flying Donkeys…..

  39. RK says:

    It’s a beautiful time of year to go to Scotland!

  40. Charles says:

    Does anyone hate the Toronto FO more than Toronto fans ?

    Columbus fans are second, but it is a VERY distant second.

  41. Peter says:

    Apparently DeRosario is on that list too.

  42. Seriously? says:

    I love how people seem to think that MLS should just happily give away any player under contract who has a chance to make their “dream move” to any league in Europe, whether it’s to England or Albania, as if MLS should just be a charity placement agency. And how dare MLS ask for a transfer sizable fee, as any European team would do when a wealthier team comes a calling. It seems like people complain that MLS doesn’t have enough talent, then complain when MLS tries to hold onto talent it has under legitimate contracts. Fans in Europe would love to see their club hold onto a player under contract they don’t want to let go, but many fans here see it as not only screwing the player who knowingly signed the contract, but by extension, also screwing American soccer as a whole, as if that should be MLS’s first priority. The gall of them not letting us have another yank abroad to follow.

    What’s wrong with saying that nobody forced player X to sign with MLS, how is that untrue? I love Twellman, but he chose to take the security of MLS, rather than try his luck at getting more money elsewhere. Plus, it’s funny how people will point out how MLS doesn’t pay as much, but never bring up how MLS always pays the players on time, which doesn’t always happen in that heavenly European soccer dreamscape. It’s something that’s been pointed out on this site, and it’s hardly unimportant.

    BTW, I believe that it was the league office, not the evil, penny pinching Revs, who were responsible for negotiating Twellman’s first contract, and who (childishly, imo) wanted get revenge for him not signing with MLS and going to the draft when they tried to get him before he went to Germany. It’s fine if you want to blame the Revs for not spending more, but you can’t blame them for everything.

  43. Glasgow says:

    TFC just gave Chad Barrett a $100,000 raise – so he will be making $300,000+ to DeRo’s $400,000 – WHAT A TOTAL JOKE OF AN INEPT FOOTBALL CLUB TFC IS! Even without that fraud artist- Mo Johnston running the show the club remains sleazy.

    They do sell alot of jerseys and beer though!!!

  44. fcd fan says:

    he is a locker room cancer and always has been. for all of his obvious talent teams are alway willing to ship him out. these rumors have been around for years. TFC is a mess but you can’t say that they haven’t tried. trader mo was a disaster but bringing in over-rated canucks doesn’t help either.

  45. Gazza says:

    Ummm Will – if Celtic had the proper paperwork stating an agreement was in place for a DeRo trail both the club and DeRo’s agent would have produced it by now. And it would be case closed. Celtic didn’t get permission ….. so are they the Clippers of the SPL?

  46. Peter says:

    Actually, Dero’s agent said we want to go on trial/train with a club over seas. TFC said ok get me the proper paper work and we will make it happen. NO PAPER WORK CAME. It was dead issue with the club until he shows up in Glasglow to train with Celtic.

    Dero and his agent pulled a move and they got caught I guess they aren’t that smart. Secondly, Dero makes over $400k in the MLS. He is the highest salary outside of a DP. Should he get more money IMO no.

    The MLS will not give him DP money as it sets a precednt that will screw up the salary cap. Look at Kenny Cooper wanted DP money and they said no. What would happen when Chad marshall wants DP money or Beckerman, or (insert teams star player here). DP are not for people who are career MLS players and that is what Dero is. He isn’t good enough for a major team in Europe. He is an above average MLS player. No more no less

  47. Gazza says:

    DeRo the second best player from NA in MLS?! You must be having a laugh. He may be the 2nd best player on TFC (Stefan Frei is #1 by far) but in the league no way. This is not 2004.

  48. Gazza says:

    Barrett got a $100k raise? Source?

  49. fischy says:

    efischman@aol.comHow is it untrue?

    Let’s try you.I don’t know what career you’re in, but did you have European options? As an American, unless you can claim an EU passport, it’s hard to get a work permit. If you want to take your training and pursue your professional career, you are pretty much stuck in the USA> But, at least, you have the option of going to any such business in the country or striking out on your own.

    A soccer player doesn’t have that option. If they’re good enough, they have the MLS (by the way, if they’re not even good enough for MLS, they really do not have any foreign options). And, MLS is a take-it-or-leave-it option. You can’t go to other teams and try to get the best contract deal — and you can’t move on to other teams, unless you’re team agrees and extracts some exchange value.

    You’re right about how the league restricts transfers, but I think you’re off on everything else.

    Look at Europe in the post-Bosman ruling era. Players can request transfers, and then participate in negotiations. They even get a cut of the transfer fee. WHen their contract is up, they aren’t stuck with whatever the team/league decide to offer. They can move to any team.

  50. Will says:

    No, Celtic has actually won championships. Celtic has no reason to show anyone any papers. This is a “controversy” only in the MLS realm.

  51. Seriously? says:

    OK, first off, sports is not the same as real life, it’s not comparable, and I think it’s just silly when people try.

    I don’t have a contract, which is what this conversation is about. If I suck at my job, or make a bad mistake, causing the loss of money or whatever, I can be fired, or if my company is losing money, I can just be let go. That’s what people refer to when they talk about taking the security of signing a long term contract, which is something that I don’t have.

    Though that’s another good point, I know with managers at least, and perhaps with players too, in Europe, owners will often fire them, and then refuse to comply with the legal contract. That doesn’t happen here.

    And why do you mention the Bosman ruling? What does that have to do with players under contract, which is what I thought we were discussing? When an MLS player’s contract expires, they too can go to Europe free of charge. If you’re talking about trying to move within the league after a contract has expired, or when a team no longer wants you, a)that’s not what I thought was being talked about, and b) those rules have been changed a bit, in case you haven’t been following.

    As for MLS and their “take it or leave it” deals, so what? First off, if they don’t like the MLS offer, players do actually have other options in this country soccer-wise, with the lower tiers, or indoor, MLS is juet the highest level option. Second, just because someone plays soccer growing up, and states “I want to be a pro player”, it doesn’t mean that the largest league in the land has to give them whatever wage they player wants. If I went to college for say broadcasting, but nobody in that industry gives me the money I want, then I have to either take less money, or find another industry to go into. That’s life. Or to take it a bit further, to try to compare sports to real life, as you want to do, say I wanted to go into sports broadcasting, and I want to go to ESPN, because they’re the biggest. If they don’t give me what I want, then I can either take it, or go to a lower league, like a small local network.

    I’m not in any way saying MLS is perfect, but I just think many complaints are just unrealistic.

  52. nebraskacoog says:

    He is not a striker, he is a midfielder. That is why he is so valuable. He produces a lot for a guy of his postion on the field.

  53. nebraskacoog says:

    DeRo is a great player, I don’t know about 2nd best behind Donovan, but he is the best player on TFC. Yes, way better than Frei!

  54. The Dude says:

    I disagree with Peter. Dero is better than 2/3 of the DPs that have played in this league. The whole category of DP is problematic, but for me, a DP is someone who stands out from the pack, and Dero has always been that player. TFC would be nothing without him.
    FWIW, I defend Dero in this whole fiasco. He was promised DP status at TFC, but then they reneged, and they didn’t even offer him a DP contract for this upcoming season. I can understand why he bolted. When you pay Mista 900K and you pay your best player 300K, problems will arise. If TFC actually had a coach and GM, they might have avoided this whole situation.

  55. nebraskacoog says:

    Epic dude! E-P-I-C!

  56. nebraskacoog says:

    Lol! DeRo is not going to be blamed by the TFC fans for his actions. Those fans hate the bafoons in the FO.

  57. Seriously? says:

    Wow, you must work for a very benign company. Many companies won’t offer you more money unless you ask for it, and perhaps even not until you say your leaving for another job. There are even companies have compensation based more on education and such, and not as much on job performance.

    It’s a fact that people who aggressively negotiate make more money than people who don’t, independent of performance. It’s just with soccer, all the players have agents who aggressively negotiate, it’s part of the industry. And the better the player performs, the more aggressive the agent. Plus, player salaries are mostly public, so it’s easy to compare yourself to peers, and know when to ask for more. In the real world, that’s not the case, and companies don’t want people sharing such info, as it can cause problems companies don’t want to deal with.

  58. nebraskacoog says:

    WTF are you talkin about? He was with the SJ/Houston org for 7-8 years (2001 to SJ and then 3 seasons in Houston). Some locker room cancer, huh…

  59. Gazza says:

    So the rules that FIFA and UEFA set out for player trials don’t apply to Celtic? Because they’ve won in the SPL and in Europe 50 years ago? Give Over

  60. b says:

    Well then he’s the reason SJ/Hou never won anything!!

  61. Gazza says:

    Did you watch the games this year? Frei was our best player by far.

  62. b says:

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Major League Soccer MLS Cup (2): 2001, 2003
    Major League Soccer Supporters Shield (1): 2005

    Houston Dynamo
    Major League Soccer MLS Cup (2): 2006, 2007

  63. JoeW says:

    I’m not saying someone should get a free transfer. But the Revs refused to sell Twellman–they said he was too valuable to the team. Nor did I ever say MLS should be a charity placement organization (though plenty of teams have ended up doing that by signing players like Tomas Ravelli and Hugo Sanchez).

    I’ve got no problem with MLS asking for a sizeable transfer fee. And let’s also be clear, that it’s tricky trying to speculate how things might have worked out. But let’s imagine for just a second that Twellman goes to the UK, starts and improves as a player. Maybe his career ends due to injury (as basically Ben Olsen’s as a player in terms of top potential). Or maybe he becomes a real NT player. You see, any club that looks solely from the perspective of “how much money can I make selling this player?” in hurtful to MLS. Because another consideration needs to be: what’s in the best interests of development of the player? That’s why DCU was pushing so hard for Adu to go to Holland rather than England (when it was clear that Adu wanted to go overseas).

    I’m not talking about “gifting” players. But I do think that the position that “he’s under contract so it’s irrelevant if he wants to transfer, we’re going to keep him” is one that’s foreign to top football. It’s not about players calling the shots. It’s about it’s stupid to have a player on your team who doesn’t want to be there. So if you think someone is a punk (like Carlos Ruiz) than don’t sign him. Otherwise, sell the player or pay up.

    To try and make this about technicalities (“he signed a contract, no-one put a gun to his head so big deal!”) is still a naive position. It ignores plenty of real world examples of buyer’s remorse where if people regret their decision or feel they got hosed on their contract, it often comes out to be bad for all parties concerns. One of the most basic criteria for a good agreement is: is this one that doesn’t damage the relationship between the parties, is sustainable and viewed as fair by all parties? If the answer to any of those is “no” than ultimately you’re going to have one of the parties either try to get out of the deal OR not give their best.

    Regarding Twellman, I agree, it was the league that signed him to $30K a year for his initial contract. Irrelevant of the motivation…at that point he was a failure with no proof he could play professionally. After two years with the Revs, I don’t know of anyone in MLS who didn’t feel that Twellman was one of the most underpaid players in the league. It was the Revs who refused to transfer him to PNE.

    As for DeRo, like I said, he should be fined. But also TFC is quickly gaining a reputation as a dysfunctional organization (which is a shame b/c I think they do a lot of things right in terms of the stadium and operations, it’s the on the field stuff they don’t get right).

  64. Dan C says:

    If only klinnsman had had the chance to take over the Nats like everyone wanted! As advisor at TFC he still has NO coach, NO GM, and DOES have the star player UNSETTLED. Yes, DeRo’s issues were established well before Klinnsman arrived, but if I was advising, I would advise TFC to make him happy and avoid this UGLY mess. I thank god everyday that internet know it alls are simply that!

  65. Seriously? says:

    First off, I simply don’t understand how anyone could just shrug off a signed contract as a “technicality”, that thought just boggles my mind. If a team refused to pay a player what they were contractually obligated to do, do you think a player would just say the contract was a technicality, and it was no big deal if they didn’t honor it? How does the notion of honoring a signed contract strike you as naïve? If you contracted someone to say put an addition on your house, gave them a deposit, and shortly after starting the contractor just up and left because they got a more lucrative job, and they said they didn’t want to repay you, would you just accept that and move on with life, without even a question?

    What I do think is naïve is saying that the Revs “refused” to ever sell Twellman. Do you honestly believe that they wouldn’t have sold him for any price whatsoever? Not for $200 million? Not for $1 billion? Have you never seen teams try to take strong stance when negotiating, or heard a team in any sport say that they won’t ever let this player go, and then a day or a week later that player is gone? The fact is, the Revs had a certain value for Twellman, PNE didn’t meet it. But people don’t want to accept that, because they wanted to see someone else go to Europe, so they instead chose to believe that the team wouldn’t have sold him, never ever ever.

    As for your imagined scenario, how would it have helped the Revs or MLS, if they’d sold Twellman for less than they rated him, and he went on to become a national team star? You say the team needs to consider what’s best for developing a player, which I agree they must think about for players on their roster, but you didn’t say how it helps the team to have a player to be sold for low money to develop when on another team. They’d get the benefit of a warm sense of satisfaction from having known the player before he was big? If you follow Boston sports, are you familiar with the fans reaction to the Sox letting a prospect go to Houston in order to get a middle reliever for the stretch run, when that prospect went on to become a superstar? I don’t recall many compliments being thrown out for letting that prospect develop in a different organization. Generally, when you let a player go, who goes on to bigger and better things, and the team doesn’t get much in return, fans think it’s pretty dumb. The obvious exception to that being many American soccer fans.

    I am fully aware of the problems of having a player on your roster who doesn’t want to be there, but just because someone says he wants to go doesn’t mean he becomes a bad employee. I’d really like to go to another company and make a lot more money, do you think my boss doesn’t assume that about me an all my coworkers? Perhaps people will think it a testament to Twellman’s character that he didn’t try to shoot his way out of town, but I think it’s sad that people might think that. The funny thing is, when the Revs’ roommates did that with a malcontent, and let Randy Moss go for a draft pick, experts were falling over themselves to criticize the deal, saying the Pats were giving up on the season, and so on, rather than thinking that maybe the Pats knew the player, and made the deal for a reason. I wonder how posterity will look back on that deal…

  66. Brent McD says:

    Holden was 21 y.o. and nowhere near the player he is now. And DeRo is a great player only when he wants to be. But he truly has shown himself to be a spoiled brat. Houston traded him to Toronto so he could get a payday and go back home to Canada, and now he already wants to get out. He should be ashamed of himself.

  67. Trent says:

    Typical Canadian. No balls. No manhood. He had to do everything behind everyone’s back.

  68. Mike Newell says:

    Let him go, we’ll lose the creative force but it least the $400,000 will come off the cap. We could use the freed up money to build a “team” (Please understand this is a novel concept in Toronto). I mean look at the Cup winners Colorado won the league with Conor Casey, Omar Cummings and a roll of duck tape!

    Check out the blog: link to

  69. GW says:


    Do you have any insight into how much TFC have listened and acted on to Klinsman’s recommendations?

    It seems like Klinsman has been there for a few months now and I’m curious to know how much of this mess is TFC’s and /or how much, if any is Klinsman’s. I don’t know much about TFC but since Klinsman seems to always be the USMNT heir apparent, knowledge of his role in this, if any, would be enlightening.

  70. Alexandria says:

    For all the people who preach the good word that” at a real club they let the player go if they don’t want to be there” I give you, carlos tevez. I can even give you Wayne Rooney. The list probably can go on and on of players who make unngodly amonts of money who want out of there club but the club held them to there contract in one form or the other. So,I just don’t get all the MLS hate. I rally don’t.

  71. green says:

    lolz. All this venom over a training stint.

  72. DeRo must feel trapped by the MLS. I think the MLS contract lock-in hurts the North American game, and players on this continent. Anybody heard of free trade? Good for all in the long run

    That said, DeRo’s action seems as unsurprising as perhaps it is desperate. I recall watching TC last year and it being clear DeRo was holding back. That he can still be one of the better MLS players, with the MLS standard rising, even when he is holding back says something about him as a footballer.

    One of the best to have played MLS – better than Becks I’d say – in MLS matches anyway.

    The Celtic thing… well, he is known for being a creative player…

  73. Leo says:

    Exactly who should make this decision? There’s no GM. There’s no coach. That’s kind of the point.

  74. Leo says:

    You’re daft if you think that Rooney actually wanted out of Man U. There are pictures of him and SAF laughing and hugging after that whole charade. It was a big joke.

    And Tevez wants out of everywhere. If he’s the captain, then he wants to coach. If he’s the captain-player-coach, then he’d want to be the GM. If he were the general manager, he’d want to own the entire operation. Tevez is Maradona 2.0…without the talent.

  75. vic says:

    DeRo should go to Celtic

  76. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    The biggest question now is why did it happen?

    Because MLSE is the Canadian version of AEG.

  77. No offence, and sorry for the language, but De Ro is a big Tool. He may be a good player, but the bad boy thing doesn’t work for him. It does for Dempsey, but he does it to your face in the name of sport. This guy… I dunno… it’s like he does it because he’s mean. Celtic won’t take him. He’s rough enough, but they still wont.