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Dwayne De Rosario
Dwayne De Rosario in 2023.jpg
De Rosario in 2023
Personal information
Full name Dwayne Anthony De Rosario
Date of birth (1978-05-15) May 15, 1978 (age 46)
Place of birth Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Height 1.80 m
Playing position Attacking midfielder, forward
Youth career
Scarborough Blizzard SC
Malvern Majors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997 Toronto Lynx 7 (3)
1997–1999 FSV Zwickau 12 (1)
1999–2000 Richmond Kickers 35 (17)
2001–2005 San Jose Earthquakes 108 (27)
2006–2008 Houston Dynamo 78 (24)
2009–2011 Toronto FC 57 (27)
2011 New York Red Bulls 13 (2)
2011–2013 D.C. United 68 (23)
2014 Toronto FC 19 (1)
2018–2019 Mississauga MetroStars (indoor) 11 (8)
Total 408 (133)
National team
1996–1997 Canada U20 8 (5)
1999–2000 Canada U23 11 (3)
1998–2015 Canada 81 (22)
Representing  Canada
Men's soccer
Winner 2000
Third 2002
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Dwayne Anthony De Rosario OOnt (born May 15, 1978) is a Canadian former professional soccer player, who played as a forward or as an attacking midfielder. A versatile attacker, he played for the Toronto Lynx, FSV Zwickau and Richmond Kickers early in his career. He came to prominence in the 2000s playing in Major League Soccer for the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls and D.C. United. A four-time MLS Cup champion, he also won the 2011 MLS Most Valuable Player award. He is the ninth-leading scorer in MLS history with 104 goals. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most decorated Canadian players of all time.

Internationally, De Rosario represented the Canadian national team from 1998 to 2015 where he was the country's all-time leading scorer, with 22 goals in 81 games. De Rosario is a 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup champion and four-time Canadian Player of the Year. As part of the Canadian Soccer Association's 2012 centennial celebration, he was honoured on the all-time Canada XI men's team.

Early life

Born in the Toronto district of Scarborough, Ontario, De Rosario is the son of Guyanese immigrants to Canada. He began playing soccer at age three with Scarborough Blizzard SC, later playing with the Malvern Majors. As a 14-year-old, De Rosario rejected an offer from A.C. Milan after a successful trial because he was not ready to commit to living in Italy. De Rosario went to Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute in Scarborough.

De Rosario began his professional career in 1997 at the age of 18, signing with the Toronto Lynx of the A-League. Halfway through the season, however, De Rosario signed with German side FSV Zwickau. After two seasons with Zwickau, De Rosario returned to North America, signing with the Richmond Kickers in 1999. After a slow 1999 season, in which he registered two goals and five assists, De Rosario scored fifteen goals and provided five assists while leading the team to a 20–6–1 record in 2000.

Club career

San Jose Earthquakes

De Rosario warming up for a friendly while with San Jose Earthquakes in 2004

The next season, when Canadian Frank Yallop was named head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, De Rosario was one of his first acquisitions. De Rosario proved Yallop's judgment right, scoring five goals and four assists in only 1,072 minutes for the Earthquakes in 2001, playing an important role as the team went on to win the MLS Cup; he scored the golden goal in the final and was named MLS Cup MVP. De Rosario had similar success in 2002, registering four goals and eight assists in 1,637 minutes, though the Quakes fell short of a repeat. In 2003, a torn ACL hobbled De Rosario for much of the season but he still managed to make a late surge, registering four goals and three assists in only 686 minutes and helping lead the team to a second MLS Cup championship. De Rosario played 1,211 minutes in 2004, scoring five goals, including the 2004 MLS Goal of the Year, and three assists.

In December 2004 De Rosario had a trial with Nottingham Forest, but he was not offered a contract by the team.

In 2005, following Landon Donovan's departure, De Rosario moved to midfield and promptly led MLS in assists with 13, while scoring nine goals, including the 2005 MLS Goal of the Year – the only player ever to receive that honour in two consecutive years – for a powerful bending free kick in the last regular season game against the Los Angeles Galaxy. He was named to the MLS Best XI six times (2005–07, 2009–11).

Houston Dynamo

Dwayne De Rosario 031508
De Rosario in training with Houston Dynamo

Due to San Jose's failure to reach a stadium agreement with AEG, De Rosario, along with the rest of his Earthquakes teammates, moved to Houston for the 2006 season. During the 2006 MLS All-Star Game in Chicago, De Rosario scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute to lift the MLS All Stars to a 1–0 win over Chelsea, a pre-season friendly for the London club. De Rosario was one of only four players on the MLS team to play the entire match.

De Rosario and the Houston Dynamo captured the 2006 MLS Cup title by beating the New England Revolution on November 12, 2006. The Dynamo won in a shootout, and De Rosario successfully converted his penalty kick. De Rosario signed a contract extension with Houston through 2010, where he was reported to make $325,000 per year. He was later transferred to Toronto before the end of his contract.

The next year, De Rosario assisted on Joseph Ngwenya's equalizing goal and scored the winning goal of the 2007 MLS Cup final, giving Houston a 2–1 win over the Revolution and the Dynamo their second championship. De Rosario was named MLS Cup MVP, the first player ever to win the award twice.

De Rosario made his third consecutive all-star appearance at the 2008 MLS All-Star Game in his home country, when the game was held in Toronto. He scored the decisive goal on a penalty kick in the 69th minute in the MLS All-Stars' 3–2 victory over West Ham United.

Toronto FC

DeRosario TFC 2010
De Rosario playing for Toronto FC in 2010

De Rosario was traded to Toronto FC on December 12, 2008, in return for Julius James and allocation money, after long speculation that De Rosario would move to his hometown club. He made his competitive debut for Toronto FC on Saturday, March 21 against the Kansas City Wizards, setting up Jim Brennan for Toronto's first goal in a 3–2 victory. He scored his first goal for Toronto from a header in a 1–1 draw at BMO Field against FC Dallas.

De Rosario was expected to miss the first two to four weeks of Toronto FC's training camp due to a calf injury obtained in the January 31, 2010, match against Jamaica, and returned to game action in Toronto's 1–0 preseason win versus the University of South Florida.

On April 8, 2010, De Rosario was named captain of Toronto FC, the second in the club's history, after the retirement of Jim Brennan. Two days later, De Rosario scored his first goal of the 2010 season, his team's first, in a 4–1 loss to the New England Revolution.

On April 15, 2010, De Rosario scored twice in Toronto's 2–1 home opener win against the Philadelphia Union. In his next game versus the Colorado Rapids, De Rosario scored his fourth goal of the season, and more importantly, became Toronto FC's all-time leading scorer in the regular season. De Rosario again found the back of the net on April 25 in a 2–0 home win against Seattle Sounders FC, scoring the first goal, his fifth of the season. Until O'Brian White scored the second goal for Toronto, De Rosario had previously scored all of Toronto's goals up until that point in the season. For his efforts in that game, he was awarded the MLS Player of the Week for week 5. De Rosario was again honoured with the Player of the Week award on week 10 of the MLS season, for his two-goal performance against his former team the San Jose Earthquakes. De Rosario had scored the second and third goal in Toronto FC's 3–1 win.

De Rosario continued to have a successful 2010 season for Toronto, culminating in a spot on the MLS All-Star team, scoring a goal in the 5–2 loss to Manchester United.

On August 3, 2010, De Rosario scored against C.D. Motagua in the second leg of Toronto FC's CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round tie, which at the time, put TFC ahead on 2–1 on aggregate. They would eventually win 3–2 on aggregate.

On December 28, De Rosario was confirmed to be on trial with Scottish Premier League club Celtic by manager Neil Lennon. Dwayne and Celtic inquired about the possibility of a short-term loan deal until the MLS season kicked off in March, however new Toronto FC coach Aron Winter and the league denied any further negotiations.

De Rosario scored the first Toronto goal of the 2011 season on March 19 in a 4–2 away defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in what was the league's first all Canadian match up. The goal scored in the 20th minute was also the 8000th goal scored in Major League Soccer's history.

New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls acquired De Rosario on April 1, 2011, in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani, defender Danleigh Borman and a first round 2012 MLS SuperDraft pick. He scored his first goal for New York on a penalty, as the second goal, in a 3–2 loss to Chivas USA.

D.C. United

De Rosario playing with D.C. United

D.C. United acquired De Rosario on June 27, 2011, in exchange for midfielder Dax McCarty. He scored his first goal for the club against his former club New York Red Bulls on his return to Red Bull Arena. On July 30, 2011, his double gave United a 2–0 victory over former club, San Jose. On August 6, 2011, he led United to a 3–3 draw against Toronto F.C. with his hat-trick. All three goals were scored while United played with ten men following an early ejection of goalkeeper Bill Hamid. His second hat-trick was recorded on September 25, 2011, as he recorded all three goals in the span of 9 minutes, setting another MLS record. De Rosario completed the season with a total of 16 goals and 12 assists over 32 games. Of those, 13 goals and 7 assists were made during his 17 games with United.

On August 29, 2012, De Rosario scored his 100th MLS goal, in a 2–2 home draw against the Red Bulls. He was the seventh player to reach the milestone.

Return to Toronto FC

After having his option declined by D.C. United, De Rosario returned to Toronto FC on December 18, 2013, after being chosen in the 2013 MLS Re-Entry Draft. He officially signed with the club on January 9, 2014. It was announced on December 3, 2014, that Toronto had declined the option to renew De Rosario's contract.

Brief retirement

De Rosario announced his retirement on May 10, 2015, and that he would be taking an ambassador role with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Mississauga MetroStars

In October 2018 De Rosario came out of retirement to sign with the newly formed MASL club, the Mississauga MetroStars; he later scored his first goal for the club in the MetroStars's opening match, an 11–3 loss away to the Baltimore Blast.

International career

De Rosario represented the Canadian U-20 team at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, and the Canadian U-23 team at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. He received his first senior cap for Canada on May 18, 1998, against FYR Macedonia at the age of 20. He won the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup with Canada and represented them as well at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup.

In 2007, De Rosario won the male Canadian Player of the Year award making it three consecutive years receiving the honour. In 2007, he scored five goals in eight games, the most in a year for the CMNT since John Catliff in 1993.

De Rosario was picked for his first CONCACAF Gold Cup in four years, after being selected by coach Stephen Hart in late May 2011 for the 23-man tournament roster. After a disappointing, 2–0 defeat to United States in the opening game of the group Canada failed to exit the group with a 1–1–1 record, they only managed to score two goals both from De Rosario at the penalty spot. De Rosario continued his goal scoring for with two goals in the opening stage of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, one came against Saint Lucia in early September and the other against Saint Kitts and Nevis in mid November. His goal against Saint Kitts, was his 19th international goal which tied him as Canadian all-time top goal scorer with Dale Mitchell. On December 14, De Rosario was awarded 2011 Canadian Player of the Year receiving 47.7% of the vote, Simeon Jackson in second and Josh Simpson finishing in third. This was the fourth time De Rosario was honoured with the award. On September 7, 2012, De Rosario scored his 20th goal for Canada in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Panama, making him the all-time leading goal scorer for Canada.

In De Rosario's final appearance for Canada, he scored a goal in a 1–1 draw with Iceland on January 19, 2015.

De Rosario was the country's all-time leading male goalscorer, with 22 international goals in 81 matches, until Cyle Larin surpassed his record in 2022.

Personal life

De Rosario adopted a strict vegan diet in 1994, but started eating fish ten years later. He is married to Brandy De Rosario and has four children, including his sons Osaze and Adisa, who are also professional soccer players. His cousin is Olympic hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in February 2020. His autobiography 'DeRo: My Life', written with Brendan Dunlop was published in May 2021 by ECW Press.

DeRo United Futbol Academy

In 2012, De Rosario established the DeRo United Futbol Academy. They entered a team in the League1 Ontario women's division beginning in 2018. In June 2021, the club became an official affiliate team of De Rosario's former club Toronto FC, joining their academy system and re-branded as DeRo TFC.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Toronto Lynx 1997 A-League 7 2 7 2
FSV Zwickau 1997–98 2. Bundesliga 12 1 1 0 13 1
1998–99 0 0 0 0 0 0
Richmond Kickers 1999 A-League 16 1 16 1
2000 23 15 23 15
Total 39 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 39 16
San Jose Earthquakes 2001 MLS 21 5 0 0 4 2 25 7
2002 27 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 28 4
2003 11 4 0 0 0 0 3 0 14 4
2004 21 5 0 0 0 0 2 1 23 6
2005 28 9 0 0 2 0 28 9
Total 108 27 0 0 0 0 12 3 120 30
Houston Dynamo 2006 MLS 30 11 3 1 4 0 37 12
2007 24 6 0 0 4 0 8 3 36 9
2008 24 7 0 0 9 3 6 1 39 11
Total 78 24 3 1 13 3 18 4 112 32
Toronto FC 2009 MLS 28 11 4 3 2 0 34 14
2010 27 15 4 1 8 1 39 17
2011 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 1
Total 57 27 8 4 10 1 0 0 75 32
New York Red Bulls 2011 MLS 13 2 0 0 0 0 13 2
D.C. United 2011 MLS 18 13 0 0 18 13
2012 27 7 1 0 28 7
2013 23 3 5 5 28 8
Total 68 23 6 5 0 0 0 0 74 28
Toronto FC 2014 MLS 19 1 4 0 23 1
Mississauga MetroStars 2018–19 MASL 11 8 11 8
Career total 412 131 22 10 23 4 30 7 487 152


Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Canada U20 1996 4 4
1997 4 1
Total 8 5
Canada U23 1999 6 3
2000 4 0
Total 10 3
Canada 1998 1 0
1999 2 0
2000 2 0
2001 4 0
2002 7 2
2003 1 1
2004 10 4
2005 8 0
2006 2 0
2007 8 5
2008 8 3
2009 0 0
2010 2 0
2011 11 4
2012 5 1
2013 6 0
2014 2 0
2015 2 2
Total 81 22

International goals

Scores and results list Canada's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each De Rosario goal.
List of international goals scored by Dwayne De Rosario
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 February 2, 2002 Rose Bowl, Pasadena  South Korea 2–1 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup
2 October 15, 2002 Easter Road, Edinburgh  Scotland 1–3 Friendly
3 October 11, 2003 Ratina Stadion, Tampere  Finland 2–3 Friendly
4 June 16, 2004 Richardson Memorial Stadium, Kingston  Belize 4–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 October 13, 2004 Swangard Stadium, Burnaby  Costa Rica 1–3 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 November 17, 2004 Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City  Guatemala 1–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 June 1, 2007 Polideportivo de Pueblo Nuevo, San Cristóbal, Táchira  Venezuela 2–2 Friendly
9 June 11, 2007 Orange Bowl, Miami  Haiti 2–0 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
11 June 16, 2007 Gillette Stadium, Foxborough  Guatemala 3–0 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
12 September 12, 2007 BMO Field, Toronto  Costa Rica 1–1 Friendly
13 January 30, 2008 Stade Louis Achille, Fort-de-France  Martinique 1–0 Friendly
14 June 20, 2008 Saputo Stadium, Montreal  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
16 June 11, 2011 Raymond James Stadium, Tampa  Guadeloupe 1–0 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup
17 June 14, 2011 Livestrong Sporting Park, Kansas City  Panama 1–1 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup
18 September 2, 2011 BMO Field, Toronto  Saint Lucia 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
19 November 15, 2011 BMO Field, Toronto  Saint Kitts and Nevis 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
20 September 7, 2012 BMO Field, Toronto  Panama 1–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
21 January 16, 2015 UCF Soccer and Track Stadium, Orlando  Iceland 1–2 Friendly
22 January 19, 2015 UCF Soccer and Track Stadium, Orlando  Iceland 1–1 Friendly



San Jose Earthquakes

Houston Dynamo

Toronto FC

D.C. United

  • U.S. Open Cup: 2013




  • MLS MVP Award: 2011
  • MLS All-Star: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • MLS Best XI: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • MLS Golden Boot: 2011
  • MLS 100 goals club
  • MLS 50/50 Club
  • MLS Goal of the Year Award: 2004, 2005
  • George Gross Memorial Trophy: 2009, 2010
  • Canadian Players of the Year: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011
  • Red Patch Boys Player of the Year: 2009
  • Major League Soccer 25 Greatest Players
  • Ontario Sports Hall of Fame inductee, 2019
  • The Order of Ontario appointee, 2020
  • Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, 2022

See also

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