De Rosario searching for 1st TFC goal
Dwayne De Rosario has been waiting for this moment since he joined Toronto FC.
The Canadian midfielder will make his hometown debut when Toronto FC host Seattle Sounders FC in its home opener of the 2009 MLS season on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 3:30 p.m. ET).
De Rosario, who grew up in Scarborough, in Toronto's east end, made his way back home in the off-season when the Houston Dynamo traded him to Toronto FC.
An MLS veteran who spent the previous eight seasons with Houston and the San Jose Earthquakes, De Rosario is anxious to play his first home game in a Toronto FC uniform in front of family and friends.
"To be out there wearing a Toronto FC jersey, to see the fans and the passion that just pours out of that stadium, it's going to be a very proud moment for me," De Rosario told CBC Sports.
"It's a dream come true to be back home, playing in my hometown before my family. I can't ask for more."
De Rosario played a pivotal role in Toronto's two road games to begin the season, setting up two of the goals in a 3-2 win over Kansas City Wizards.
He also terrorized the Columbus Crew defence in a 1-1 draw last week, and believes the team's strong performances on the road gives them plenty of confidence ahead of Saturday's battle with a Seattle squad that won its first two games of the campaign.
"It's huge for us to come home unbeaten as it has helped build our confidence and momentum," De Rosario told reporters this week. "To go away from home and face the champions from last year, Columbus, in their own home opener and come out with a good result is huge for us.
"We have to take the momentum into this game and be more aggressive going forward and more clinical in front of goal. Seattle is on a high note after the first two games so we want to deflate them and set the tone for ourselves as early as possible."
Rookie goalkeeper Stefan Frei was relieved by veteran Greg Sutton in the second half of last week's game after injuring his back. He is listed as questionable for Saturday's game, so expect Sutton to start against Seattle.
Two players who are expected to be back in the lineup are midfielders Amado Guevara and Carl Robinson.
Guevara and Robinson missed the Columbus game because they were away on World Cup qualifying duty for Honduras and Wales. Toronto coach John Carver said he will assess their fitness right up until game day before deciding to put them in his starting lineup.
"The good news is that Carl didn't play for Wales so he didn't get injured and should be a bit fresher. I will see how he is feeling and also see how Amado is. Hopefully, they will be good to go. I've got a contingency in place if they aren't available," Carver said.
Toronto's next game is against FC Dallas at home on April 11 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 3:30 p.m. ET).