Payback time for De Rosario

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

TORONTO - It might not be a holiday weekend, but expect to see some fireworks in D.C. on Saturday night.

Consider that former Reds captain Dwayne De Rosario will be itching to do some damage against the team and ownership that would not give him the money he felt he deserved.

Throughout his career, De Rosario has consistently come up large in the games that mattered the most to him. This one surely applies. The Toronto native felt slighted for the final months of his tenure and definitely holds a grudge since he scored a club record 27 goals for the Reds but did not get as sniff of a designated player's contract.

"We'll definitely have to mark him close," keeper Stefan Frei told mlssoccer.com.

Juiced

"There's no doubt he's going to be all juiced for this game, for sure. He's going to want to make a mark and dominate the game and he's the type of player with the ability to do that."

De Rosario had a point in being bitter about his contractual situation. The club's No. 2 and No. 3 all-time goal scorers, Chad Barrett and Danny Dichio scored 30 goals in 124 appearances -- combined.

But his attitude and age caused ownership to deal him to New York.

De Rosario didn't work out with the Red Bulls, scoring twice in 12 games on that star-laden club, but has found a home with D.C. since arriving in another trade.

He has three goals in five games with United, including both strikes in last Saturday's 2-0 victory over San Jose.

The Reds, with more goals for than only New England, also are on a surprisingly competent streak offensively. The club has scored two goals in each of its past four outings and should be able to put away even more once the players become more familiar with each other.

TFC is confident owing to a comeback 2-2 draw in Portland and a pair of convincing wins over Nicaragua's Real Esteli, resulting in advancement in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The better play is partly because Joao Plata, Ryan Johnson and Danny Koevermans have already displayed some intriguing chemistry, showing signs of becoming the best forward unit TFC has ever employed.

Newcomers Eric Avila and Peri Marosevic also give the team more offensive bite off of the bench than its fans have been used to. The arrival of Torsten Frings and Terry Dunfield has solidified the midfield and if Julian de Guzman can regain his form that area appears to be remarkably competent for once as well.

Frei remains a rock in goal so that leaves just the back four as a problem area for TFC.

New acquisition Dasan Robinson could be the latest body thrown in to try to shore things up.

If so, Robinson and his mates will have their hands full with De Rosario who only actually played with a half-dozen or so of the remaining TFC players.

Sure the reigning player of the week won't have the suspended Andy Najer to set him up, plus the dangerous attacking combo of Charlie Davies (eight goals) and Josh Wolff (four) might be questionable, but Chris Pontius should play and he punished Toronto when they met earlier in the season, scoring twice.

D.C. is just a point short of a playoff spot and has already matched its 2010 win total with six.

Meanwhile, Toronto is 3-11-10 and last in the East.

MARQUEE MATCHUP

A matchup of Toronto's new captain, Torsten Frings and its former captain and all-time leading scorer, Dwayne De Rosario.

The Toronto native has been red hot since joining D.C. and is elusive, but Frings will be tasked with taking the ball from him and letting him know he is in a battle.

NOTES

De Rosario scored 27 goals in 53 MLS matches with his hometown Reds and five more in 12 non-league appearances.

Will be fifth game in past two weeks for busy TFC and third road match in a row.

Reds have scored 21 goals this season and 10 of those were by since traded forwards Maicon Santos and Alan Gordon.

D.C. humbled TFC 3-0 back in April, scoring twice in the first 10 minutes.

United won six games in 2010 but has already matched that total this season.

D.C. has won seven of 11 all-time meetings with TFC scoring 23 goals to Toronto's 14. They have tied just once.

Midfielders Julian de Guzman, Nathan Sturgis and Terry Dunfield are all questionable with a variety of injuries. Dunfield is the best bet to suit up.

Toronto is still looking for its first road win of the season.

TFC KEYS

Keep DeRo under control. De Rosario is one of the premier big-game performers the MLS has seen and would like nothing more than to send a message to Toronto's ownership.

Give Frei a break. Stefan Frei has faced far too many shots this season. It is time for the defence to raise its level of play, particularly the back line.


Videos

Photos