Sunday, November 18, 2007
Play It Again Dwayne
Major League Soccer is now entering its adolescence after a somewhat turbulent infancy. As the league develops some history one thing has become perfectly clear: Dwayne DeRossario is the best big game player in the history of MLS. Believe it or not, DeRossario is not among the all time league leaders in Assists or Goals. Yet whenever a game is on the line it seems to be DeRo who comes through. DeRossario won his fourth MLS Cup in seven seasons giving Houston a rare repeat with a header to bury New England 2-1.
New England is a sorry story. I'm impartial and came into the match simply hoping for a good game. But when I saw a dejected defeated Stevie Ralston (one of my all time favorite American Footballers) leave the pitch with an injury my heart began to sink and when the full time whistle blew I was in pieces. I shouldn't admit my sentiments, but New England is a team with some of the greatest players this now adolescent league has ever known: Ralston, Taylor Twellman, Shalrie Joseph, Jay Heaps and so on and so forth. Steve Nicol is a champion whose won the old European Cup and English First Division as a player with Liverpool, the A-League with the old Boston Bulldogs and the US Open Cup with the Revs as a manager. But now he is 0 for 4 in MLS Cups and all four losses were in heartbreaking fashion when New England had victory within their grasp. I cannot explain the collapses on the biggest stage for some of the best players in the league's history on the most cohesive team the league has seen. Houston is good, probably better than New England but they don't have the complete team that has been together for oh so long like the Revs.
But the bottom line is MLS only has one Dwayne DeRossario. Whomever he plays for has a built in advantage to win the biggest and most pressure filled matches. He is a true titan of North American Soccer.