Joshua Kelly

Rose showing quick touch, competitive fire

When the team left for Arizona there were questions about who would benefit most from the absences of U.S. National Team players Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin, and on-loan midfielder Clint Dempsey. That was answered with a simple – Andy Rose. Now, as Seattle Sounders FC heads to the Carolina Challenge Cup, Rose is stepping on the pitch alongside Osvaldo Alonso with a simple goal in mind for the season.

“I want to compete with them and see my name week to week,” he told SoundersFC.com this week.

That’s competing with Dempsey and Evans for playing time. He understands that they are “two top names in American soccer right now,” but at 24 years old Rose thinks this is his time to show that he is not a fill-in, but a regular in the starting lineup.

Rose spent late last season watching Alonso and Shalrie Joseph in training. There he learned more about one-touch passing and playing as a more advanced central midfielder. One can not have a much better teacher than Alonso. He’s a four-time team MVP, one of the top defensive midfielders in the league and every year his passing improves. Rose soaked up that knowledge.

The formation clearly sees Alonso as the deeper midfielder. That leaves Rose showing things in matches that indicate he should be that forward guy. His work in training sessions shows a strong understanding with Obafemi Martins, as well.

With the first Carolina Challenge Cup match in the books, Rose is now third on the team in preseason minutes played. His 90 minutes in middle were both good and needing to be better, according to Sigi Schmid’s post-match comments after the 2-1 win.

“Andy did well. I think if you asked him he would say he could do better then he played today,” said Schmid. “He still needs to play the ball a little bit quicker and open the game up. He continues to do alright for us.”

With two more Carolina Challenge Cup matches streamed live on SoundersFC.com, fans can watch to see how his passing continues to improve. When Rose and Alonso pair over the next week it is the last chance to see those two before the regular season starts and Dempsey returns to Seattle.

Rose has two more games and two weeks of training to show what he’s learned by playing so many preseason minutes with the likely starting group. His hope is simple, force Schmid to make difficult choices when it comes to playing time throughout the season.

“I want to be establishing myself,” Rose said. “I think I can perform well at this level and I can do it on a consistent basis. I want to start strong.”

When you talk to Rose, he is not thinking of himself as a bubble player or rotational guy. He is not intimidated by his competition for playing time. Rather, he sees a team sheet out there that should have his name on it.

Sounder at Heart is a blog about the Seattle Sounders FC, with occasional forays into Democracy in Sports, Roster Management, Tactical Analysis, Soccer Statistics and Life in Puget Sound.

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