Report: Backe expects De Rosario to skip Gold Cup


Photo by Brad Smith/

When the United States and Canada meet in their CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage opener in Detroit on June 7, one of the Canadians' key contributors might not be there.

New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe told reporters on Monday that he expects Canadian international midfielder Dwayne De Rosario to skip this summer's event.

"I think he has turned that down," Backe told the New York Post. "I would be very surprised if he went for the national team. You never know, but I’m fairly sure we will have him. I don’t think he has played (much) the last two years for them. I hope (we’ll have him). Otherwise I will be disappointed."

If De Rosario, Canada's active goal leader, skips the Gold Cup, it would be a huge lift for the Red Bulls. Backe already figures to lose a handful of players to international competition this summer, with Juan Agudelo, Tim Ream, Rafa Marquez, Dane Richards and Roy Miller all likely to be selected by their respective countries.

What do you think of De Rosario potentially skipping the Gold Cup? Think Canada has a shot at beating the USMNT without him?

Share your thoughts below.

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58 Responses to Report: Backe expects De Rosario to skip Gold Cup

  1. dinomitedan says:

    For Canadians, im sure this is a blow. I think i would rather see him go to Canada Natl Team rather than NY RED BULLS, they will survive without him.

  2. Roehl says:

    I’ve noticed that when there’s a decision between playing for a national team/playing abroad and playing in MLS, many fans have this criteria of “Will the MLS club survive without him?” instead of “What is best for the MLS club?” It’s a very strange show of support. Of course, I am conflicted whenever the Gold Cup comes into town and takes away American players, but I’m not going to pretend it’s an easy decision one way or the other.

  3. irishapple21 says:

    This would be huge for the Red Bulls. DeRo wants to earn a DP contract and Canada probably isn’t going to do well in the Gold Cup whether he is there or not. It’s interesting to see what decision he’ll make.

  4. ga-gone says:

    Man, I would kind of question the dude’s heart if he doesn’t go play for his national team in this circumstance. And I’m a Red Bulls fan.

  5. ga-gone says:

    I think we generally feel for the player more than the club. It’s tough and arguably a tad unfair for a player to have to literally choose club vs. country during their career. Obviously world soccer is changing, but I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to represent their country.

    It seems strange to me that the best Canadian player would consider turning down a call up to the confederation’s championship tournament.

  6. JW says:

    I think coaches should keep thoughts like this out of the press for the sake of their players.

  7. Goose says:

    “I don’t think he has played (much) the last two years for [Canada].”

    Is this true? I was under the impression that DeRo was the lynchpin of the Canadian attack.

  8. Dave from Charlotte says:

    I think it is BS. While it would benefit the USA to not have him in the red and whites of Canada, club soccer, and UEFA type tournaments are starting to crowd out national tournaments.

    I don’t want to hear the line, “clubs pays the salaries” either…FIFA makes a haul every 4 years, maybe they should dole out more money to the players and live off their bribes.

    Tradition, national pride, and wearing your countries colors are important. Hans should Backe off.

  9. fake ny fan alert says:

    sure u r

  10. fake ny fan alert says:

    u r not a educated man

  11. Brad says:

    Could you imagine if Donovan or Deuce decided not to play the Gold Cup? I hope for Canada’s sake, he plays in the GC.

  12. toro says:

    Yes, Backe is correct. De Ro has only played in 3 of Canada’s last 16 games (2009-2011). He’s no longer the lynchpin of the Canadian attack. Canada has moved on.

  13. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    Oh man, that would be a serious FU to the CMNT on DeRo’s part if he declines a call up.

  14. “sure u r”

    “u r not a educated man”

    Dear god.

  15. Don Pelayo says:

    This is absurd. The Gold Cup is Canada’s only realistic chance of succeeding at an international tournament. Regardless of how many games he has played for Canada lately, he is the country’s best player and needs to be representing his country this summer. If he were chosen for the Canadian squad and declined the invitation to play for the Red Bulls it would be a disgrace.

  16. DC Josh says:

    Sounds like Backe is jockeying to get his player to stay in NY this summer. If DeRo doesn’t show for Canada, it’s just another blow for them. They really can’t get it together up there can they? For the sake of the US getting better, I sincerely hope Canada gets its act straight to become competitive in CONCACAF.

  17. Ryan says:

    Eloquently put…

  18. Starla says:

    No offense to anyone involved, but the Gold Cup is the world’s biggest nothing.

  19. JoeW says:

    Except that in this case, MLS was started with the direction and seed money from the USSF.

    And actually I think it’s an easy decision. As much as I follow my club and root for (or root against) other MLS clubs, what will elevate the status of MLS more is NT success. Unlike the Premiership or La Liga or Serie-A, MLS’ credibility is absolutely tied by our NT performance.

    I applaude RSL’s Champion League performance. But what would matter more to the visibility of US soccer–our NT winning the Confed Cup or if RSL had advanced than went to the Club championship and won that?

  20. joe k says:

    canada doesn’t have a shot whether dero plays for them or not

  21. Myles B says:

    DeRo didn’t play for Canada over the past few years because he didn’t rate Dale Mitchell. Now that Stephen Hart’s back in the fold he’s been playing again. He also said multiple times it’s an honour to be called to your national team, most recently after the Greece friendly back at the beginning of the year.

    This is just Backe blowing smoke out his backeside methinks.

  22. Felix says:

    I heard De Rosario do an interview on the MLS ExtraTime Radio podcast, and when asked about the Gold Cup, he seemed to perk up and genuinely excited to play the US in June.

    Perhaps Backe talked him out of it. That would be a shame if he didn’t play. I know DeRo is getting older now, but I still rate him as Canada’s best player – they would be that much poorer if he wasn’t there.

  23. David says:

    Medhi Ballouchy will be pissed. There goes all his playing time this summer. Haha

  24. SilverRey says:

    I’m never sure why people don’t put more stock into these tournaments. Is it purely because we’re not UEFA?

    As far as DeRo, no player should be told they can’t play for their country. Especially for a big tournament. Especially when it’s the middle of the season. Backe is just trying to be a little too power-mongerish…

  25. readte12 says:

    Maybe somewhere in your vast, formal education you learned when and why we started writing like bufoons. I don’t think you should make another attempt at another man’s “education” any time soon.

  26. readte12 says:


  27. mightymightysounders says:

    Canada will struggle more without him than the Red Bull would

    Whatever though GO USA and GO SOUNDERS

  28. funnyguy says:


  29. deepm says:

    “He’s no longer the lynchpin of the Canadian attack. Canada has moved on. ”

    Not true. Canada still needs DeRo. He chose club over country while with TFC to help TFC reach the playoffs. Obviously that didn’t work out.

    Most of those friendlies were held during clutch games for TFC. DeRo spoke to coach Stephen Hart and told him helping TFC was important, and taking into account those national team games were only friendlies.

  30. deepm says:


    I wonder if Stephen Hart will call him up for world cup qualifying if he passes up on this.

  31. Branden says:

    In terms of active goals scorers both De Ro and Ali Gerba have 15, but Gerba has done it in 29 games while De Ro has needed 55.

    Canada has looked fine without De Ro. All 3 games he played in we lost (although I won’t hold the Argentina game against him.)

    He has the same problems at the national team that he did at TFC, its all about him. He gets the ball, puts his head down and tries to walk through 3 players. Sure he’s the best player on the pitch (most of the time), but when he doesn’t play with his team-mates it doesn’t matter.

  32. deepm says:

    Just read the article again and I just realized that it’s Backe trying to sway DeRo to stay.

    Not happy with Backe’s comments. Let the player decide himself.

    Backe knows he loses DeRo for 2 weeks at the minimum for the group stage, and up to one month. NYRB should have someone that can slip in to the midfield for that time to take DeRo’s place.

    Looks like Backe wants to win the supporters shield badly and he wants to wrap it up by August.

    Interesting to see DeRo’s response.

  33. fischy says:

    Yes, an educated man would not write “a educated man”– On the other hand, it’s buffoon.

  34. Josh says:

    Really? This year’s winner books a spot in the Confederations Cup; that’s not nothing.

  35. Rlw2020 says:

    It’s one of those unexplainable things in sports. When the star player leaves and everyone else starts playing better. I bet Canada does better than expected without him kind of like how the nuggets did well after Carmelo left.

    New York is a deep team they should be fine. I’m surprised that marquez still has a spot on the Mexican team. Also last year for the world cup mls took a few weeks off they should do the same for the gold cup as way more players from mls participate in the gold cup than the world cup

  36. Josh says:

    Well, when a player’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning, it’s easy to see why he might prefer to focus on his club. In part, it’s just physically harder to play all those extra matches; the body needs rest.

    Also, if the GC were held every four years instead of every two, it might be more meaningful. While there would seem to be added importance since this year’s winner gets a spot in the Confederations Cup, Canada’s chances of qualifying for either the Confed Cup or the World Cup aren’t stellar.

    Ultimately, it’s up to DeRo, and I can’t fault him either way.

  37. Starla says:

    He wants a multi year guaranteed contract with NY, so he better stay home. I think Roy Miller will feel the pressure now too.

    Ream, Agudelo and Marquez on the other hand will reach the final so they will play the Gold Cup.

    But I blame MLS for this mess. What kind of amateurs schedule games when their NT is playing a tournament hosted in their own country.

  38. Rlw2020 says:

    And ali gerba must be amazing for the CNT. What’s his deal can’t stay at club for more than a few months but rips it up for Canada?

  39. Starla says:

    Nothing for Canada or the other invited tourists.

  40. chris says:

    A league that doesn’t want to compete with the NFL and wants to survive

  41. Dennis says:

    DeRo is getting to the age when players begin to decide that the wear and tear of international competition in addition to the weekly professional league is too much to recover from and choose to limit themselves to extend their careers.

    In any case, Canada is not going to beat the USA even with DeRo. (Of course you never know for sure that is why they play the games.)

  42. Shark says:

    Except it gets the winner into the Confed. Cup…so not the world’s biggest nothing.

  43. DC Josh says:

    Agree that the Gold Cup is boring. Might as well have a US vs. Mexico game and call the winner the CONCACAF Champion. Until other countries can compete, or it’s played in a country other than the US, it is a total bore.

    But it grants entrance into the Confederations Cup, which I will never forget as a US fan.

  44. Starla says:

    You can play March to November, fit far more than all the MLS + cup games and still avoid any NT collisions.

  45. Supsam says:

    I have no evidence for this but judging by Backe talking about this to the press so early in the gold cup prep stage, i cant help but feel that Backe is pressuring DeRo to turn down Canada’s callup. I could only imagine that DeRo’s starting spot might be in jeopardy if he leaves for Canada. Anybody else feel this way?

  46. ga-gone says:

    I post here all the time, and im a season ticket holder in section 104.

    I’m just saying it does show quite a me-first attitude if a guy is turning down a chance to (probably) captain his country in his confederations championship tournament.

    If he comes out and retires from the national team tomorrow, that’s a different story.

    But if I’m the Canadian team and that guy says ‘no’, he is never getting called up again.

  47. StevenG says:

    Do you know how cold it is for some MLS cities during Dec.?! MLS can barely get people to come out in November!

  48. StevenG says:

    Why does everybody **** on the Gold Cup? We got destroyed by Mexico in 09′ and here people are casting stones on the tourney? Come on. And why do some people seem to care more about playing in some meaningless Confed. Cup then trying to be champions of our region?!

  49. Starla says:

    I don’t know where you got December from. No need for games in December. Or November. They just seem to refuse to schedule midweek games and flexible scheduling like the rest of the world.

  50. Kosh says:

    Not that I am speaking for DC Josh here or anything, but generally when people slag on the GC, or MLS or anything that is not like UEFA it just because of that, it’s not UEFA.

    I am not classifying such people as Eurosnobs or anything (though I have no doubt that such people can be found in the ranks), it’s just that people want their stuff to be like other people’s stuff. Not a bad thing, especially if the person you’re copying is doing it “right”. Problems start to creep in when you realize that one person’s “right” could actually be your “wrong”.

    MLS playing during the GC is what it is, we compete with other big sports in this country. Sorry, but them’s the breaks. Personally I don’t mind that one bit – gives the hidden gems a decent run of games, you never know what you’re gonna get.

    The GC is or confederation championship. It’s not like EUFA or COMNEBOL, but guess what it’s ours. It will get better, these things take time. Having a Confed Cup bonus is a nice cherry on the top, but it does not make our confed championship any less important.

  51. patrick says:

    dude, its dwayne derosario, everywhere he’s been its “me first”, it’s who he is. He left houston same reason he left toronto, more $$. He wants to stay in NY, carry the team then he’ll wait for his DP contract

  52. deepm says:

    DeRo doesn’t need to prove anything to NYRB.
    He’s already proven enough throughout his entire career.

    Backe knows how valuable DeRo is, just based on what he’s seen so far. Pretty obvious that he doesn’t want DeRo to leave for a month.

    Backe brought in Balouchy to play the role DeRo is in and that didn’t work out too well.

    NYRB will give him the contract regardless if they are successful this season.

  53. deepm says:

    DeRo has responded….

    link to

    “I 100 percent want to play for Canada,” De Rosario told “I would definitely like to play for my country this summer.”

  54. deepm says:

    DeRo’s spot is not in trouble. It’ll be there when he gets back. Backe tried Ballouchy in DeRo’s position and that didn’t pan out.

    Backe clearly doesn’t want DeRo to go.

  55. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    It would take ‘re-vamping’ the playoff system, but it could and SHOULD be done.
    If, we as a country of supporters, prefer a playoff to decide a champion…then make it the top 2 teams in each conference qualifying…that move in of itself would cut out 2-3 weeks of ‘playoffs’.

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  57. PetedeLA says:

    Canada’s best player is arguably Junior Hoillet. He just hasn’t played for them yet.

  58. Joamiq says:

    How is that “me-first”? It’s one team vs. the other team, not staying in the band vs. going solo. He’s getting paid either way. Actually, he probably loses money by not making the national team appearances.