TORONTO — No one wants to see the best player on their favorite team traded. However, most Toronto FC fans appear to be taking a longer view of Friday’s trading of Dwayne De Rosario to the New York Red Bulls.
Mike Newell, 28, is a partial season ticket holder and has supported the club since 2007. He says that trading De Rosario became a near necessity after the player demanded a new contract last year.
“If a guy signs a four year contract, then turns around and asks for more money then ... you got to let him go,” he said.
Newell added that he believes in the new management team and feels that it can lead TFC to the playoffs and beyond.
“I do believe the club is going in the right direction,” he said. “At this point, we have got to trust [director of player development Paul] Mariner. He knows the league and that’s what he was brought into do.”
Reaction of the supporters groups public discussion boards has been running about 50/50 in favor of the deal. Red Patch Boys president Boris Aguilar says that probably reflects the overall feeling of the supporters.
“We’re all a little bit shocked and a little bit disappointed,” Aguilar said. “We had hoped that there could have been a middle ground [between the club and De Rosario] and something worked out to let him stay here.”
Although the Red Patch Boys continue to believe in the new direction of the club, the trade has caused some old frustrations to flare up again.
“A lot of us are concerned that we are a fifth year club, but it feels like we are still in our first year,” Aguilar said of the constant re-build that Toronto seems to go through.
At least one non-season ticket holder fan says that trading De Rosario would not affect his decision to buy tickets to TFC this year.
“A club is more than one player,” Burlington’s Colin Cameron said. “This is not going to change my support of the team.”
Cameron indicated that he hoped that both De Rosario and TFC would do well from the trade. That’s a feeling that Aguilar says the Red Patch Boys share.
“We wish DeRo well,” said Aguilar. “For the most part, people are going to want to see him continue to succeed.”