March 30, 2011 MLS--De Ro Gesture For Fallen RPB (from

De Ro Gesture For Fallen RPB
Team captain honors recently passed fan following Saturday's win.
Duane Rollins
March 30, 2011

TORONTO — It was a gesture not noticed by the majority of BMO Field’s 20,086 fans last Saturday.

Following TFC’s 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, Dwayne De Rosario ran towards the Red Patch Boys section to a banner recognizing Rodrigo Novoa, a well-known member of the group who died suddenly last week.

With the banner in hand, he held it aloft to honor the supporter’s memory. He then took it back with him into the TFC dressing room where he made sure that it was signed by the team and returned to the family as a token of appreciation.

“It was a great gesture by a player that has had a lot of controversy around him,” said Boris Aguilar, president of the supporters group. “The Red Patch Boys feel very grateful for the gesture and I can assure you, the family feels the same way.”

Aguilar suggested that DeRo's act was a great example of the bond that supporters have with the team. Faced with the loss of one of their own, it was fitting that they took support from those whom they support themselves.

Obviously, Aguilar wishes that it didn’t take a tragedy to illustrate the need for supporters to move on from last season’s frustrations that saw them organize protests in the stands against ticket increases. However, he said that now represents an opportunity to get back to what the group was formed to do.

“We are back – back to supporting,” Aguilar said. “This season – especially for myself – I want to start out positive. I give the front office full credit for listening and coming through with the things that they said [at the season-ticket holder town hall meetings held last fall].”

The positive approach is echoed by U-Sector, which entered its second decade of supporting MLS and USL soccer in Toronto this past weekend.

“For now, there are still lots of possibilities in the season, so we’re excited,” senior member Ryan Keay said just before the game Saturday. “We’ve never had a winning team in the 10 years, so we understand how to stick with it.”

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