A few days ago, Houston sent 30 year-old midfielder and face of the club Dwayne de Rosario back to his hometown, with Toronto FC surrendering young defender Julius James and cash.
The winner in the deal? Who knows? Toronto gets a three-time Canadian player of the year and someone who has won 4 MLS Cups. However, de Rosario’s production slowed down considerably last season and he is on record saying that he does not like Toronto’s turf. The veteran will sell jerseys and tickets, and returning to his hometown team has to be great for Dwayne, but if he doesn’t come out of his slump, this could be just another in a long line of failed high-profile moves by Toronto FC Manager Mo Johnston.
Houston, on the other hand, got some much needed cash and a young defender who spent most of his rookie season injured. When he did play, James showed some offensive capability in the air, as well as potential in central defense and the right wing. James ended the year as a bench player, so he may not be an immediate upgrade for Houston, but the T&T National and UCONN grad still has plenty of upside.
The Dynamo also received cash considerations. In combination with offloading de Rosario’s salary, this will help the Orange out considerably as they seek to find a backup keeper, a replacement for DDR in the midfield and someone to fill departed Nate Jaqua’s shoes. Houston will also need to find some immediate depth if they want to have any chance of extending their run in the Champions League.
Oh and they need to find a new face for their franchise. Throughout Houston’s run at the top, de Rosario was one of Houston and MLS’s marketable players.
Sounds like a busy winter for the Dynamo.