Dwayne De Rosario is probably the best footballer in Canadian soccer history. Born in 1978, attacking midfielder and forward, he hold the goal record with the national team of his country, 22 goals in 81 games. His career essentially took place in MLS, a series in which he won four MLS Cups with San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo jerseys, in his palmares also a Supporters’ Shield with the Quakes, two Canadian Championship (Toronto FC), a US Open Cup (DC United) and the 2000 Concacaf Gold Cup with the Canadian shirt. Retired in 2014, he currently deals with various initiatives, including a foundation that deals with supporting young people who want to pursue a football career and have few means. We interviewed him about his career and football current affairs between America and Europe.
You are the player who holds the goal record in the history of the National Soccer Team of Canada. How did you build this success?
Well, in this success I always enjoying scoring goals and winning games. There is nothing I enjoy more than scoring goals and celebrating with the fans, with my teammates at my back, after a while became habits but also became a little bit of addiction on creating those moments. Every time I play if I didn’t have that moment or I didn’t scored a goal I felt like I didn’t do my job and that’s more than creating goals, you know, equally I took pride in both but scoring goal just have a more of sweet feeling to me. It’s something that I have had since I was young. something that I enjoy doing scoring goals and celebrating with my teammates and fans.
How do you feel about the current development of soccer in Canada? Do you think that the Can PL and the 2026 World Cup can benefit the movement?
Definitely I’m a big fan of that, the professional league is something that we definitely needed and I’m glad it’s finally here. It’s a place where players that don’t get selected with TFC around Ontario, around Canada, have the opportunity to play at high-level and to develop. The course of the sports in 2026 comes and we’ll finally see what the World Cup is about and what it means to other countries and what it means to embrace it, after seen the impact that it had in Russia for the Academy, for the fans, for the culture of the sport, it is just something that I can’t wait to see in 2026 and be a part of this movement.
Your career is strongly linked to MLS, you have won four MLS Cups and you have been a winner in almost every club. Do you have a memory for each team?
Definitely you have a winning check when you play a professional sports, you always want to have an opportunity to win the championship and when you win the first championship you see how much it impacts the culture and the football movement in the city, in the community, and you take great pride. It’s something that I enjoyed deeply each of the city where I won it. All four championships are all specials win so I don’t have one of the like more than the other there all special for me.
What, in your opinion, are the differences between the current MLS and that of your time?
The development of the game has grown tremendously. I think there is a lot of knowledge around the growth in the development of the game like academies. So now you have academies you’re creating a culture at very young ages, the pride of playing for your club is a lot more higher, plus soccer specific stadium are building around the country both US and Canada which helps the growth of the game, you see fans becoming more interested in the sports and the development of the sports, a lot of kids are starting playing that’s just helping the profile of soccer in North America.
Toronto has remained competitive even without Giovinco, what do you think about their season in 2020?
2019 was a great season, started of not so good but in the end I think we reached an accomplished that no one expected, no one anticipated, the turnaround was great for the fans. It really shows that you can put a few wins together throughout the season and reached the play-off. Once you’re you are in the play-off anything can happen, obviously when you are in the final everyone plays for a win but when you look back at the 2019 was a successful year for the club and ownership group, and hopefully we can continue built on that, but I think the most important thing was the consistency, regarding Giovinco, he’s a great player, but nothing can depend on one player, I think. We’ve seen it also with myself meeting with the teams where I won championships cups, everything continues to grow and develop with or without my myself or the Giovinco. Obviously a player of his calibre… but move on this is professional sports I could see they were able to manage without a player of his calibre.
Do you think there is currently a footballer in North America who can look like you for the style of play and who can have a winning career like yours?
No chance! (Laugh). Definitely there are players with opportunity did exists, hopefully there are more players coming that really play to win and play to score and impact every time they step on the field, I think there are quite a few players that I look at, that potentially have those qualities you know.
Do you follow Italian soccer? Are there any Italian players and coaches that you think could be successful in MLS or in Can PL?
Definitely I pay attention to Italian football few, Italian teams, like AC Milan I’ve been a fan since I was a child, growing up watching AC Milan, it was always my Serie A team. I know they have been good for many years, and now they’re trying to find the glory day. Serie A has always been an exciting and interesting league for me, very tactical style of football, more technical component to their games but I think they need player to play with a little bit more flavor, more creative like Cristiano Ronaldo. You know there are a lot of players that they can do and adjust like Giovinco, like Pirlo that came to MLS and manage to have a good career, you know I can only see more players from that area coming here, and managers of course, playing and managing in those high-level and intense environment and it’s an attractive option for them moving forward to continue developing and grow.
You are active in numerous initiatives. What are your current and future projects? Would you like coaching?
Yes, I definitely interested in coaching but after my career my focus was to to manage things that I have in place, like my Academy, being focus on my foundation. The coaching is something that obviously have always been interesting in doing. My focus right now getting my kids and their future set up. Coaching requires an immense effort, a lot of time, even more as a player so that’s why I haven’t got into deep into the coaching and a professional coaching environment but it’s something that are interesting in the future. It’s something that I’m very attracted to and in the near future don’t be surprised if you see me get involved into some coaching at some level but right now the main focus is the football in this country that is becoming a pricy sport to play, so my goal is to continue to focus on those kids that they don’t have financial support, to make sure they have the same equal opportunity of the kids that manages to have that support to play at a high level at their sports and one day play for the national team or with a professional team through my foundation and through my Academy .
by Cristiano MG Faranna and Federico Montalenti