For 90 minutes, Andy Rose was preparing to leave Westwood for Wasatch, trading his UCLA jersey for a Real Salt Lake kit when RSL picked the midfielder with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.
Then the call came that he’d been traded to the Sounders FC, where he would be reunited with former Bruins teammate David Estrada and legendary UCLA coach Sigi Schmid.
“I was overwhelmed,” said Rose through an accent that is equal parts Australia and England. “This is definitely the place I wanted to be. I was overjoyed.”
And while his UCLA roots – he lived in the same house as Estrada during his sophomore season – may help him assimilate to the club, it’s not the only thing that had him excited to join the Sounders in training camp.
He trained with the club briefly in the summer as part of his preparation for his senior season and to give him a taste of the MLS atmosphere. He also felt good about his interview with the team’s technical staff at the MLS Combine.
The club had also grown familiar with Rose through his four years at UCLA, where he finished with 5 goals and 11 assists in four years.
However, his showing at the Combine couldn’t garner a pick in the SuperDraft. Moving into the Supplemental Draft didn’t bother Rose, though.
“I felt like I’d done enough to get selected, but I know that being an international player it’s a little bit tougher sometimes,” he said. “At the end of the day, no matter where you get picked, you come in here and you’re on level ground. I wasn’t too fussed about it. It’s led me to this point and there’s nowhere I’d rather be.”
Born in Australia, Rose lived in Chicago briefly before settling in Bristol, England. There, eh captained the U-16 and U-18 teams at Bristol City FC before coming to UCLA in 2008.
After just two days of training and seeing several matches, Rose knows that he fits well with the Sounders FC gameplan.
“I play the type of soccer they want to play here. They try to keep the ball on the ground and not every team in MLS does that,” he said, noting that style alone won’t land him on the roster. “I’m a hard worker, so I’m here to prove myself.”
The Sounders are taking Sunday off, but will return to training on Monday for their first session at the team’s training grounds at Starfire in Tukwila.