No stranger to record books, Dwayne De Rosario added another first to his name Saturday night in opening the scoring account of the Mississauga MetroStars.
The 40-year-old former Canadian international put the expansion Major Arena Soccer League soccer team on the board at 6:55 of the second period of its season opener in an 11-3 loss in Baltimore against the three-time defending champion Blast.
The milestone goal came off a corner with De Rosario hammering a right-footed shot high into the net at the 5,200-capacity SECU Arena at Towson University. DeRo added another goal early in the fourth quarter with a powerful shot from distance.
Mo Babouli, another former Toronto FC alumnus, also scored for the MetroStars on the power play. Martinho Dumevski had two assists.
Down 3-0, Toronto cut the lead to 3-2 in the second quarter. But Baltimore scored eight of the next nine goals.
Baltimore midfielder Jonatas Melo somewhat stole the spotlight in the third quarter when he scored a goal to put the Blast up 6-2 and then headed into the stands, taking a knee in front of a woman and pulling out a ring to propose.
The Brazilian's move seemed to work. His teary-eyed target accepted the ring.
"SHE SAID YES!!!" the Blast said via Twitter.
Melo finished the game with a goal, two assists and a fiancee. Named player of the game, Melo thanked his fiancee Jen — a Canadian.
Baltimore led 3-0 after the first quarter with De Rosario preventing another goal with an acrobatic goal-line clearance. The MetroStars cut the deficit to 3-2 before the Blast scored two late goals to lead 5-2 at the break.
The Blast extended their lead with three unanswered goals in the third quarter.
De Rosario has come out of retirement to play indoors. He hung it up in May 2015 after 18 seasons of professional soccer — 14 in the MLS.
The attacking midfielder won four MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2006, 2007), MLS MVP honours in 2011 with D.C. United, MLS Cup MVP honours in 2001 and 2007, and was named to the MLS Best XI six times (2005-07, 2009-11).
He also had 22 goals in 81 appearances for Canada.
De Rosario and 38-year-old Adrian Cann, another former Toronto FC player, are co-captains of the MetroStars.
Owned by Gladiator Sports Media Entertainment Corp., the MetroStars are playing the home half of their 24-game regular season at Mississauga's Paramount Fine Foods Centre. The home opener is Dec. 8 against the Florida Tropics.
Gladiator Sports tested the Mississauga market with a series of international games against Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., using De Rosario, Cann and other players now on the MetroStars roster. The company says it averaged 4,000 fans a game.
The MASL has 17 teams this season, with Mexico represented by the Monterrey Flash. Mississauga is playing out of the Eastern Division, alongside Baltimore, Utica City FC and the Harrisburg Heat.
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