Dwayne De Rosario’s time at D.C. United may be over, but he’s not counting out a return to Major League Soccer. That is, if the right opportunity presents itself, of course.
In a phone conversation on Saturday from Austria, where Canada are training ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Slovenia, De Rosario confirmed that he is considering overseas options as he looks to continue his club career in 2014, though he declined to be specific.
But the four-time MLS Cup winner and one-time league MVP is also definitely interested in continuing his MLS career. It just comes down to finding the right situation.
“I’ve had an unbelievable experience playing in that league and a great time there, and if it’s time to move on from there, so be it,” De Rosario told MLSsoccer.com. “If not, then I definitely look forward to another year, two, three in Major League Soccer.”
Canada’s all-time leading scorer, with 20 goals in 75 appearances, is currently with the national side preparing for Tuesday’s friendly against Slovenia (noon ET, Sportsnet One) after captaining the squad in a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic on Friday.
He finds himself at a career crossroads with both club and country after his option was declined by D.C. United last month, looking for a new opportunity personally and aware that a new generation of players are set to take their places within the national team as well.
After 15 years of representing his country, De Rosario knows his national-team days may be numbered. But he still believes he has plenty to offer the squad.
“I have to take it one game at a time. I think I continue to contribute to the team in all different ways,” he said. “As long as I feel motivated, which I am, and inspired to play, and able, then I’ll continue to be there.”
With the national team in full-on transition mode, De Rosario has taken every opportunity to speak with incoming youngsters and tell them what playing for Canada is all about.
“[I’m] just making sure they understand that you’ve earned the right to be here; you didn’t get here by chance or by luck,” De Rosario said. “Don’t be afraid to express yourself on the field.”
While Canada’s on-field results have been discouraging in 2013 – zero wins in 12 games – De Rosario said he’s seen “a progression, a more confident Canadian team” under head coach Benito Floro.
But even more discouraging than the lack of wins is the lack of goals. Canada hasn’t scored in 852 minutes of play, more than nine full games, although De Rosario came close against the Czech Republic only to see his first-half penalty kick stopped by Petr Cech.
“It’s disappointing when you have the chance and you don’t finish it,” he said. “It is concerning when you look and see nine games pass without a goal. But the main thing is, we have to keep faith in ourselves, and know that we do have the ability to score.”
De Rosario is confident that better days are ahead for Canada, and has taken it upon himself to try and keep up the spirits of his teammates during this dark period. In particular, he believes that regularly playing games against tough opposition will pay off in the long term.
Still, the Scarborough, Ont., native knows that he may not be around to see this difficult period bear fruit for the national team. For now, he’s concentrating on weighing his options for next season and proving he still has what it takes to play at a high level.
“I have a lot of people that doubt what I do,” he told MLSsoccer.com over the phone Saturday. “Doubt me [based] on my age, doubt my ability. But I continue to use that fuel to my advantage.”