Sports Babe of the Day Presents: Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto FC and MLS All Star @dwaynederosario
With 52 awards under his belt including MLS All-Star Team Captain, MLS Most Valuable Player, and Team MVP while having won 4 MLS cups, Dwayne De Rosario is one of the most decorated players in Major League Soccer History. DeRo – as he is affectionately called by his fans – is humbled with his return home to Toronto FC as the superstar signing blasted North American headlines in early January. While Dwayne is a globally recognized player, he admirably takes every opportunity to represent Canada and his commitment to growing the Toronto community/youth. CEO. Founder. Coach. Mentor. All titles that Dwayne holds close to his heart through the DeRo Foundation which provides underprivileged youth the ability to take part in professionally run soccer clinics focused mainly throughout high risk neighbourhoods.
The dream of becoming a soccer prodigy at a young age while growing up in Scarborough Ontario seemed near impossible, especially with the lack of resources and not one established national team. Dwayne pushed forward and at the young age of 18 signed with the Toronto Lynx, an A-League team which then lead him to an International team (German FSV Zwickau) half way through the season. After creating a house hold name, De Rosario returned to North America signing with the Richmond Kickers in 1999 right before his breakout year scoring 15 goals and 5 assists leading the team to a 20-6-1 season. In 2001 Dwayne earned his first MLS Cup MVP award by scoring the golden goal in the MLS Cup Final leading San Jose Earthquakes to a victory. After the Earthquakes turned into the Houston Dynamo, Dwayne had a repeat performance obtaining yet another MLS Cup win. Breaking records, he also received the MLS Cup MVP award for the second time, the first player to ever do so. The Canadian soccer prodigy returned home after being traded to the Toronto FC and in 2010 Dwayne was honoured with the title of team Captain. With a short stint in New York, he moved to D.C. United where he continued to break MLS records scoring a hatrick within a 9 minute time frame. De Rosario is also the first player in sports history to play on 3 teams in one season and be awarded league MVP. In 2012 he made an announcement to host his DeRo Futbol Clinic tour across North America for free to inner city youth with his most recent free clinic in Trinidad and Tobago, the first of its kind. No wonder Toronto is ecstatic to have DeRo home.
While most athletes of this stature are busy giving themselves the title of celebrity icon, Dwayne still remains one of the most down to earth, silly and personable athletes with strong core values. Family, friends, community and living a life you’re passionate about.
21 Questions with Dwayne De Rosario
2. Music? So what are you currently listening to on your ipod?
Little bit of everything. From hip hop and reggae to old school funk and jazz.
3. Which Canadian stereotype did you miss most while living in the states?
Leaving the front door of the house open because all Canadians leave their doors open.
4. What is your game day routine?
Can’t let that secret out… For the most part I start my day off with oatmeal or porridge and then just rest as much as I can and focus.
5. If we looked in your fridge, what would we find?
Almond Milk, Coconut Water, Veggies, Fruits and Tofu
6. What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
Playing professional soccer.
7. You run soccer clinics for kids in high risk neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, why is it so important for kids of all backgrounds to be able to participate in sport?
Being involved in sports at a young age helped me see the world. Soccer is the most well known and most played sport globally because it is inexpensive and easy to pick up. By being one of the most multicultural sports we can all learn so much from each other as teammates with different backgrounds. There is so much to benefit of merging nationalities and allowing kids to express themselves.
8. How do you want to be remembered?
Someone who works hard and never gives up or quits. I want to be a role model for all of my kids who take part in DeRo United.
9. DeRo United is all about community and mentoring youth through soccer clinics; what is your main message that you try to get across?
Because DeRo United focuses on high risk youth we try to teach them the important of education, exercise, nutrition and of course the importance of following your dreams whether it is to be a pro athlete, rockstar or investment banker. There will always be obstacles coming your way but you have to persevere and stay focused. If your mind is set on a certain goal or dream, you’re the only one who can stop yourself. It’s the challenges you face during the process that make you stronger in the end.
10. Are there any obstacles that you had to overcome while pursuing a career in soccer?
Of course. I got cut from the under 14 provincial team because they said I was too small. I had huge obstacles having to go overseas at a young age after that while trying to make a name for myself because Canada didn’t have a professional team at that time.
11. Do you have a role model/mentor who inspired you to persevere?
Growing up I had a few. I always looked up to Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Soccer wise I try to mirror my career after Ronaldo and Romario.
12. Seems as you have won almost every award known to MLS, what is next on your career ‘to do’ list?
It’s time to bring home the MLS cup to my home, Toronto!
13. If you could have a super power what would it be?
I would fly. Or to be able to see through things…
14. What is your best memory?
Besides having my kids? Playing in my first national team and winning my first MLS cup.
15. Speaking of kids, what do you do in your spare time? Do you have any?
I like to keep busy. I love running my kids around and just being a dad. I also run my DeRo clinics throughout the GTA.
16. Word on the street is you’re a pretty good ping pong player… who would you love to have a game against?
17. Which actor would you choose to play you in a movie about your life?
Samuel L Jackson *insert hearty chuckle*
18. Single or Taken?
19. But if you had a free pass… who is your all time woman crush?
Sanaa Lathan from Love and Basketball.
20. Do you have a motto or favourite quote you try to live by?
The harder the battle the sweeter the victory.
21.Who would you feature as our next SBOTD?
What a great guy! Thank you Dwayne for taking the time to be Sports Babe of the Day! Now I can’t wait for… ‘DeRo: The story of an MLS Superstar played by Samuel L Jackon, coming to a theatre near you.’
For more information on Dwayne’s community initiatives and how you can get involved, you can visit www.derounited.com