York United’s Osaze De Rosario is looking to wrap up his record-breaking debut season with CPL Golden Boot – Canadian Premier League


The De Rosario name is no stranger to the record books. During a long and eventful career in Major League Soccer and the Canada men’s national team, Dwayne De Rosario’s name was written alongside countless records and awards.

That includes winning the MLS Cup in 2001, the year his eldest son Osaze was born. 21 years later, Osaze De Rosario has joined the family business by becoming a professional footballer himself and now also putting his own name in the record books.

Earlier this month, for example, Osaze became York United’s all-time leading scorer with his 12th goal in all competitions for the Nine Stripes. It was all part of an impressive debut season in the Canadian Premier League, in which De Rosario has proven that he is not only among the best young and up-and-coming players in the league, but also among the best and most consistent players.

He’s done all of this in the Toronto area, where the De Rosario name carries quite a legacy.

It’s a very good environment for me,” Osaze told CanPL.ca. “A lot of people know me and my family here, so it’s always good to have outside support. My father, he has a lot of support. I’m really happy that there’s a team in York, so to be honest I’m really excited to play here.”

One of those who knows the De Rosario family well is York United head coach Martin Nash. While on the Canada men’s national team, Nash and Osaze’s father, Dwayne, won the Concacaf Gold Cup together in 2000.

De Rosario says the similarities helped coaches and players bond quickly and their relationship has been incredibly fruitful this season.

“He’s always giving me tips,” De Rosario said. “What he thinks because he’s also a player of the game and has his own knowledge of the game. It’s very good to have one of them as a coach and I enjoy working with them.”

Those feelings appear to be mutual as after De Rosario broke the aforementioned club goals record in a game against Edmonton FC earlier this month, Nash had plenty of praise for his striker to share with the media.

“I think he has a great mentality,” he said. “He’s open to direction, he works hard. He still needs to improve some things in his game but he’s a great finisher, he gets into great areas. He’s one of those finishers that doesn’t need a big backlift, they have power in just a lateral foot strike, or if he needs to smash them, he can. I think he has all the makings of a top striker. He still has some things to improve as the game progresses, but he’s been really good all season, he’s worked really hard for us.”

That work has paid off in large measure as De Rosario is among the leaders in several offensive categories. He is tied with the late Pacific FC forward Alejandro Diaz for most open goals scored in the CPL this season (10), and only Diaz has more expected goals and big chances than De Rosario’s 8.11 and 8.11 respectively. 16

As Nash mentioned, he can also score in a variety of ways. Only Cavalry’s Ali Musse and Valor’s Sean Rea have as many open goals from outside the box as De Rosario, a weapon in his arsenal he announced to the league with his first-ever CPL goal in April.

It’s also remarkable, especially for a young player, how constant he was, especially when the team around him was anything but personal and productive. De Rosario has scored every month this season except for May, when York have only scored once as a club. In fact, they didn’t score for over a month between mid-May and June, a streak that was – surprise, surprise – ended by De Rosario.

“It was a tough year with the injuries and of course we signed all of that [something] 42 players on our team, so it’s always crazy when things like that happen,” De Rosario said. “But respect to all the players who kept it real and stayed on the pitch and kept working to keep this team moving.”

He says a big part of learning to be consistent comes from all the work he’s put in mastering his craft in front of goal. De Rosario also mentions how helpful it is to have a father who is constantly watching and offering advice on what to adjust and what to work on in order to become a more consistent performer. What do you think is his biggest growth area right now?

“I get a lot of chances and I want to be able to just be more sober and have more poison in my attack, obviously earlier in the game because I scored a lot of goals in the second half,” he told De Rosario. “That’s why I want to score more early goals, I want to achieve that in every game. Speed, strength of course, but everything will come.”

Now the focus is on how he can perform in the final three games of the season. If he can, more entries in the league record book could await him.

De Rosario has his sights set on the CPL Golden Boot where he is currently two goals behind Diaz. He is also just three shy of the CPL all-time record for goals in a season (14), set by HFX Wanderers forward Joao Morelli last season. He believes CPL Canada U-21 Player of the Year and even League Player of the Year could be within reach.

“I want to take the last few games and give everything I have,” he says. “I’m doing everything to win the Golden Boot and I’m doing everything to get my team into the playoffs and finish really strong. Because that’s what you need in a good year, you have to finish strong.”


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