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DeRo becomes Captain Canada
January 30, 2010, 3:02 PM
Filed under: Canada, Dwayne DeRosario

Dwayne De Rosario, who had a falling out with former Canadian coach Dale Mitchell, has been handed the captain’s armband by new coach Stephen Hart for Sunday’s exhibition soccer game in Jamaica.

De Rosario gets the nod to lead a young squad that is missing many of its European-based pros including normal skipper Paul Stalteri.

The Toronto FC midfielder has not played for Canada since a World Cup qualifying loss in Mexico in September 2008. The next month De Rosario, then playing for Houston, was quoted in The Globe and Mail saying of Mitchell: “I don’t know how someone who coached the under-20s to not score a goal in the World Cup was put in charge of the national team.”

He has not played in Canada’s 12 games since. Mitchell left the team in March 2009.

DeRosario has served as national team captain before on at least two occasions: July 9, 2005, at the Gold Cup in a 2-0 loss to the U.S. and Jan. 22, 2006 in a 0-0 draw with the U.S. in a friendly.

Hart, in his first game since taking over the team on a permanent basis, has issues in goal going into Sunday’s game. Veteran Paul Onstad, a late call-up to the camp, has had to go home because of back spasms. That leaves Hart with just one goalie in David Monsalve, an uncapped 21-year old who plays for FC Inter Turku in Finland.

“We’re in a bad situation with the goalkeepers,” Hart said Friday as the team bus made its way to the airport from camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the flight to Jamaica.

Kenny Stamatopoulos was initially summoned by Hart but was recalled by his club. Under-23 ‘keeper Michal Misiewicz was kept on from the Olympic team camp but he also had to return to his club. Hart is looking to bring in another goalie, but it looks like Monsalve will get the start.

“At some point you’ve got to dive in the deep end,” said Hart, who coached Monsalve on the national under-17 team.

Hart’s record is 9-7-2 in two stints as interim coach. Given the job for good in December, he is now building a squad for 2012 and the start of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

“Now I’m look at the team from a different way,” he explained. “I’m going to take 2010 and use it more to evaluate players and see how well they do at the international level with the thought of building a team for the future.

“In the interim (coaching) position, I just tried to keep things more or less status quo until whoever was given the job could come in and make the big decisions.”

In keep with that attitude, Hart says all five of his uncapped players will probably see action against Jamaica, which is also missing part of its European-based arsenal.

“Now is the time to take some risks,” Hart said.

Other uncapped players are forward Randy Edwini-Bonsu of the Vancouver Whitecaps, defender Nana Attakora of Toronto FC, midfielder Massih Wassey of FC Schalke 04 and midfielder Carlos Rivas, who is unattached.

De Rosario, with 52 national team appearances, and midfielder Julian de Guzman (42) are the veterans of the team.

Canada is ranked 56th in the world, compared to No. 81 for Jamaica.

The Reggae Boyz brought in seven newcomers to their 28-man camp: four schoolboys, two recruits from the local Digicel Premier League and midfielder-forward Ryan Johnson who plays for the MLS San Jose Earthquakes.

Other MLS players include former Toronto FC defender Tyrone Marshall (Seattle Sounders) and forward Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids).

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