TFC captain De Rosario on trial with Celtic
MLS club says captain doesn't have permission for Celtic trial.
It's appears to be a classic tale of he said, he said.
Toronto FC confirmed Tuesday that team captain Dwayne De Rosario is in Glasgow, where he is training and on trial with Scottish club Celtic.
The confirmation came a day after TFC disputed the contents of a British newspaper article that said the Canadian star was in Scotland.
De Rosario's went on trial with Celtic, as first reported by the Glasgow Evening Times on Monday, unbeknownst to the Major League Soccer outfit, which stated it did not grant the captain permission.
"We were unaware of Dwayne's plan to train with Celtic and we will contact them to understand the situation," Earl Cochrane, Toronto FC's interim general manager, said Tuesday in a statement.
"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."
Cochrane reiterated TFC's stance in an email to CBCSports.ca.
"I was contacted a little more than a month ago by Dwayne and his representative asking if we would entertain a loan or training stint," Cochrane wrote. "We said we would but would need assurances and final sign-off on it — that an agreement would need to be in place that we were comfortable with.
"Dwayne's agent contacted me and asked if we would let Dwayne train [with] a club and we said we would, but again would have to have something official in place that would provide us with some assurances that should Dwayne get hurt we would be covered. They understood that completely.
"I have not received anything official from Dwayne or his agent or Celtic. MLS will reach out to Celtic to clear up this situation and will do what is best for Toronto FC."
Dwayne's older brother, however, tells a different story.
In a phone interview with CBCSports.ca, Mark De Rosario claimed TFC was fully aware that the soccer star had been seeking a trial with Celtic for the past three weeks and that he was granted permission by the MLS club to go to Scotland.
"You just don't pick up and leave when you're under contract to go on trial for another team," said De Rosario, who is also Dwayne's business partner.
"You have to get permission from your club, and my brother isn't going to leave his family on Boxing Day during the holidays to go over Celtic on a whim."
Tuesday's news is the latest development in the continuing saga of TFC and its captain.
Dwayne De Rosario, a 32-year-old native of the Scarborough area of Toronto, is midway through a four-year contract that paid him $443,750 US this past season, the third-highest salary on the team behind fellow Canadian Julian de Guzman ($1,717,546 US) and Spanish forward Mista ($987,3370 US).
In September, De Rosario publicly stated he wasn't happy with his salary and went so far as to celebrate a goal he scored in a game against the San Jose Earthquakes by mockingly signing a cheque. The gesture was a clear message to team management that he wanted to renegotiate his contract.
According to brother Mark, De Rosario's requests to have his contract renegotiated have gone unanswered.
"Dwayne requested contract negotiations with [the team] quite a few times. … He made a request that they speak to him before January so he knows what's going in 2011 and nothing has been said to Dwayne since."
It'll be interesting to see what happens next, including whether De Rosario forces a move for himself to Celtic or whether TFC decides to renegotiate his deal.
Since joining the club via a trade with Houston in 2009, De Rosario has firmly established himself as Toronto FC's franchise player. His 31 goals rank him as the team's all-time leading scorer, he helped Toronto win back-to-back Canadian club championships in 2009 and 2010, and he was named the club's MVP last year.
He further underlined his worth this year when he scored 15 of his team's 33 goals and was one of the few bright spots on a team that failed to make the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.
Dwayne De Rosario did not return a message left by CBCSports.ca asking for comment on this story.