What should have been a difficult choice, was really a simple one. No player made anywhere near the impact on Major League Soccer in the 2000-2009 period as did Dwayne DeRosario. The Canadian international was without question the dominant figure this decade in the league.
DeRo had a short stint in Germany, before excelling for the Richmond Kickers of the USL A-League for two seasons. In 2001, DeRo joined San Jose and for the next eight seasons he was the signature player with the most impact on the highly successful San Jose/Houston team.
Beginning with the 2001 playoffs, where DeRo’s outstanding contributions brought San Jose the MLS Cup after upsetting both Miami in the semifinals and the LA Galaxy in the finals. DeRo’s Golden Goal in Extra Time set the tone for the Decade of DeRo.
A torn ACL limited his performance in 2003, but he was outstanding when he returned and San Jose lifted the MLS Cup for a second time in three seasons. After the clubs move to Houston, DeRo had perhaps his two best overall seasons in 2006 and 2007. Both years Houston won the MLS Cup and in 2007 were within an earshot of making the finals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.
The game winning goal in the 2007 MLS Cup sunk New England in final for the fourth time in six years and probably clinched this award that day. The closest competition in my eyes to DeRossario, Shalrie Joseph was on each of those Revolution teams. With little competition in my mind to DeRio for this award other than Joseph or perhaps his Revs team mate Steve Ralston (who began the decade as a dominant player for Tampa Bay), the championships made the choice easy.
DeRo’s top honors for the decade included:
- MLS Bext XI 04,05,06,07,09
- MLS Cup MVP 01,07
- MLS Goal of the Year 04, 05
- Canadian Male Player of the Year 05,06, 07
Share your biggest DeRo memory of the decade with us in the comments section.