De Rosario: It was time to move on from Toronto FC
Dwayne De Rosario knew it was time to move on from Toronto FC before the season opener.
The 32-year-old midfielder wasn't pleased with the team's contract offer he received about a week before the opener, and figured his days in Toronto were numbered.
''It was just an offer that more suited Toronto than myself, and it was one that I felt had some uncertainties,'' De Rosario said on a conference call Tuesday from New York. ''I said, 'Enough's enough.' I didn't want to be a negative influence, I didn't want to be a bad guy in the locker room. I would still play 100 percent, but I just couldn't carry that weight on my shoulders and in my mind.
''I just needed to get some clarity and just play, so it had to come down to one of us making a decision.''
Toronto FC made the decision to trade the team captain, sending him to the New York Red Bulls in a deal for midfielder Tony Tchani, defender Danleigh Borman and a first-round draft pick in 2012.
De Rosario, an 11-year MLS veteran, went from a team still searching for its first playoff appearance to a star-studded squad that's now the runaway favorite to win the MLS Cup.
De Rosario made his present felt quickly in his Red Bulls debut Saturday, assisting on Dane Richards' goal in a 1-1 draw with Houston.
De Rosario had been unhappy with his contract for a while, claiming Toronto reneged on certain promises made when they acquired him just over two seasons ago. He wanted ''designated player'' status, and a contract with guarantees. He threatened a boycott if he didn't receive a new contract.
''That's what you expect, a club to keep their hometown boy as comfortable as possible,'' he said. ''I didn't sense that, so it was time to move on.''
His contract remains unchanged. He'd like to be a designated player in New York - Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez occupy two of the team's three possible DP spots - and hopes his play on the field will help make that happen.
De Rosario made $443,750 last season, a good chunk less than the $1.7 million former Toronto FC teammate and designated player Julian de Guzman made.
Through all his frustrations, De Rosario said his decision to leave Toronto still didn't come easy.
''Obviously being in my hometown and from the great support we have in Toronto,'' De Rosario said. ''But I just had to have some piece of mind, I couldn't play in a situation where I felt I wasn't being treated right. I had to make a tough choice and move forward.''