The GTA’s newest soccer team — the Mississauga MetroStars — will start their inaugural Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) season on Saturday. After a few weeks of training camps, they officially announced the first 18 players on their roster on Wednesday afternoon, and there is plenty of talent and some familiar names for fans of Toronto FC and the Canadian Men’s National Team.
Ones To Watch
The player on everyone’s mind is 40-year-old Dwayne De Rosario. Arguably the greatest Canadian player ever, De Rosario is coming out of retirement to suit up for the MetroStars in their inaugural season. DeRo has won pretty much everything there is to win in the world of MLS and was a part of the Gold Cup-winning Canada side in 2000. Along with his skills on the pitch, he will provide some veteran leadership. Although he has little experience in the arena game (he played a few friendlies for Canada before joining the MetroStars), he will be able to mentor younger players throughout the grind of a long season.
A second player that has caught the eyes of fans is 38-year-old Adrian Cann. The former Toronto FC defender has made the transition to arena soccer after previously playing standard soccer and even suiting up for the Canadian national beach soccer team. Cann won three straight Canadian Championships with Toronto FC between 2010 and 2012 and like De Rosario, he will be a mentor to the younger players on the team.
Mo Babouli is another player that Toronto FC fans will know well. Babouli made 20 appearances in all competitions for the first team in 2016, and has spent time with TFC II and the TFC academy as well.
The Rest Of The Roster
Adrian Becic, Shawn Brown, Martinho Dumevski, David Guzman (formerly of TFC), Josip Keran, Alen Kucalovic, Sebastian Lopez, Anthony Osorio (brother of Toronto FC stalwart Jonathan Osorio and a former TFC II and TFC academy player. He currently has a severe ACL injury and will be out for a while recovering from it), Joshua Paredes, Matthew Rios, Luis Rocha, Marco Rodriguez (Will miss the first game of the season to serve a one-match ban picked up at the end of last season), Spyros Stergiotis, David Velastegui, Lerohne Young
There are still three players to be announced after their contracts get league approval. The club’s website lists all 21 names, but haven’t officially announced these three. These players are Sebastian Zeballos, Sina Khandan and Mujtaba Ameen.
The MetroStars’ inaugural season officially gets underway on Saturday, with their first home game coming one week later, on December 8. I’ll be providing coverage all season long, so stay tuned to keep up-to-date with the GTA’s newest professional club.