Before we go any further, let me state clearly that Duane Rollins has done a very good job on this story. He's not the comedic figure here, it's The Football Club. And yeah, I've written things that turned out not to be remotely true, and it's pretty infuriating. This could have happened to anyone.
But wow. Duane is one of the many bloggers trying to go legit through Major League Soccer Soccer - and he's by no means the craziest. (Hi, Matt!) I can only imagine how good it felt to see this story from the BBF'nC, and being able to thoroughly, completely, and comprehensively debunk it. Sources in authority being quoted by name, no less.
And then Dwayne's brother pretty much called TFC a bunch of liars, and was called a liar in return by The Football Club.
One would expect that De Rosario would be put on a plane posthaste, but, interestingly, one would be wrong:
Typical Mickey Mouse League Soccer...wait a minute, weren't these the guys who told AC Milan to take a running jump over the Beckham affair? Why is the league throwing De Rosario into the briar patch?
I suppose it's possible the paperwork could have been lost in a TFC inbox - firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are probably overflowing with spam at this point. But gee, Cochrane seemed pretty sure.
More likely, it's just that De Rosario's ploy worked. But he won't be happy as to why it worked.
Celtic should really know better - this is not a precedent they want to encourage. Some day, an unhappy Bhoy may try this stunt on them - although one imagines Celtic fans would make sure said player is later found in a series of gruesomely small pieces.
But Celtic is two points behind with a game...the opposite of in hand. They need help, and they think they can get it cheap, so they'll try it. The Old Firm - justifying the means since 1888.
The real question is why MLS and TFC are folding. Probably because De Rosario isn't worth as much to Toronto as - and it irritates me no end to type this - David Beckham was to Los Angeles.
De Rosario's a popular figure in Toronto and its environs, one supposes, but TFC fans would rather have playoffs than celebrities at this point. De Rosario is not bringing wins, and the fans are no longer just showing up for the thrill of seeing live first division soccer, so why keep him? Even before De Rosario pulled that check-writing goal celebration move, Toronto had spent way too much money on way too little talent. Spending more on a guy they already had - well, that wasn't very likely. Spending more on a guy who just would not stop whining - that was even less likely.
Which is why Toronto is showing the middle finger but turning the other cheek. If Celtic makes even a cursory offer, that's over $400,000 (in someone's currency) that they can spend on a player who wants to be there. Colorado and Dallas didn't exactly spend their way to MLS Cup, after all, and the Toronto brain trust (laugh track) had very good seats for that.
So what's to keep other MLS players from imitating De Rosario? Nothing...provided there's legitimate interest in other leagues. If Celtic were to decide they'd be better off with...Freddie Ljungberg? Wow, when did Scotland forget how to play soccer?....then De Rosario would be utterly screwed.
Of course, so would Toronto. How'd you like to be the new TFC general manager, getting to make all those phone calls asking what other MLS teams would be willing to offer? Maybe Houston would trade them the rights to Pat Onstad.
And now every time Duane Rollins asks TFC if two and two make four, he's going to have to check their math. It's tough going legit.