A star comes home

JACK KAZMIERSKI

, Last Updated: 2:50 AM ET

Toronto FC recently signed Canadian soccer star Dwayne De Rosario to a four-year contract. The flamboyant 30-year-old is one of the league's top talents, and is well-known for his on-field choreography and playmaking ability.

A Toronto native, De Rosario is glad to be home.

"I think it was the right time for me to come back home," he said. "It was the right time for a change, I thought Toronto would be the right fit for me, and so far it has been. I'm looking forward to the season."

An elite player, De Rosario is already feeling the pressure to make his new team look good -- but it's not the kind of pressure one might imagine.

"The only pressure is from myself," he said. "Because I'm from Toronto, my heart is with this city and so is my pride. My main goal is to win some trophies for our city."

To that end, De Rosario, along with his teammates, has set his sights on the playoffs.

"That's our main goal. First and foremost we want to make the playoffs. We have to take it one step at a time and it all starts with our game in Kansas City, and then we'll work our way through," he said prior to TFC's season opener.

The 2009 FC lineup includes a number of new players, and that, says De Rosario, could present a challenge.

"It's a new team with a lot of new players who haven't played with each other before, so it's going to take a while for us to get accustomed to each other, get used to playing with each other and learning how everyone moves."

As one of the more mature players, De Rosario can easily mentor some of the younger players since, as he points out, he brings experience to Toronto FC.

"I'm sharing my knowledge with players in terms of what it takes to win a championship, to get over a hump and to make the playoffs. It's a tough task and it's not easy, but I'm here to share some experience and add a little bit of flare and creativity going forward. I'm also a hard working player, offensively and defensively, so I think the young guys are looking at me and seeing how hard I work on the field on behalf of my teammates."

The younger, less experienced players will some day be in the spotlight, but for now, says De Rosario, "It's a great idea to get these young guys on board because they're the future. So the sooner we get them in here to understand the way the game is played in MLS, when it becomes their turn to step in and fill the spots they'll be ready."


Videos

Photos