It’s only the second game of the 2010 season, but Toronto FC have a new captain.
Following the Wednesday retirement of Canadian international Jim Brennan, the only captain TFC has ever known, it was up to Head Coach Preki to decide who would take the armband next.
“I had a long chat with Dwayne De Rosario and we asked him as a coaching staff to take this responsibility,” Preki said to Toronto FC TV on Thursday. “He went home and thought about it overnight. He came back this morning [Thursday] and he accepted the role. I think he’s going to do a pretty good job to lead the team moving forward.”
Preki told the players of the decision to name De Rosario before training in Oakville on Thursday morning.
“It’s a huge honor for me because I’m taking it from a guy [Jim Brennan] who has had a great career and who I’m great friends with,” De Rosario said to Toronto FC TV. “It’s the kind of pressure I’m looking for. I’m looking to lead the guys in the right direction and most importantly to lead by example and try to motivate these guys week in and week out.”
The 31-year-old De Rosario has worn the armband on occasion for both Canada and his former club Houston in stand-in roles, but never for TFC. He joined the club from the Dynamo in December 2008.
“He knows what it takes to win,” said Preki. “I just want to make sure that the other things that go with wearing the captain’s armband are done the right way. And that’s going to stay between him and myself but we look forward to having him as a captain.”
The other obvious candidate for the captaincy was TFC midfielder Julian de Guzman, who is a Canadian international and has also played in Europe. He told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday that he never had a desire to be a captain and instead wanted to lead on the field.
“I knew when Jimmy left that I was a potential candidate,” De Rosario said. “I had to respectfully think a lot of things through. Being a captain is not just wearing the armband. There’s a lot that comes with it. You hold a different position. I didn’t have to think too hard about it. It was definitely a role that I always wanted when I came to this club.”