There have been many outstanding players who have competed in Major League Soccer and several of them have led their team to MLS glory.
Houston's Dwayne De Rosario is certainly that category. He scored the game-winning goal in MLS Cup 2007 on Sunday with a timely header late in the second half. It's actually his second such goal as De Rosario scored the match-winner in MLS Cup '01.
If you were to compile an all-time MLS Best XI right now, De Rosario's inclusion would be a must.
Sometimes, you take De Rosario for granted. Other players like Christian Gomez and Landon Donovan get a lot of publicity and sometimes De Rosario is overlooked. I'll admit that I did not consider De Rosario much for my 2007 Best XI voting while I included Gomez and strongly considered Donovan.
But maybe that's because De Rosario is more about performing when the lights are on the brightest, when the stakes are the highest and someone needs to step up and perform. That seems to be when De Rosario is at his best.
De Rosario has now won four MLS Cups, a figure few others have reached. From his first one, when he came off the bench to bury the Galaxy in golden-goal extra time, to Sunday's, when before the game he was the catalyst to the defending champions' attack, De Rosario's game has improved immensely. He's got a lethal shot and produced one of the best free-kick goals I've ever seen in person when he ripped a 30-yarder against the Galaxy late in the '05 season. But he also showed his ability to finish however necessary on Sunday by whipping that header into the corner of the net.
If there is one flaw in De Rosario's game, it's clearly his post-goal celebration. That little herky-jerky chicken dance has got to go. Aside from that, though, De Rosario is hands down one of this league's all-time great players.