It’s all coming full circle for Andy Rose. The former Sounders midfielder, who began his professional career with the Rave Green in 2012, begins his managerial career in Seattle as well after signing as an assistant coach on Jan. 19.
The Englishman joined Seattle via trade in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft after a standout career at UCLA, the former longtime stomping ground for then-Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. Rose, 31, spent four seasons with the Sounders where he recorded five goals and seven assists in 82 regular-season appearances. He then spent time with England’s Coventry City and Scotland’s Motherwell before playing the last three seasons back in MLS with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“I certainly hoped it would happen at some point ever since I left at the end of 2015,” said Rose. “It was my first professional club and a very special club to me. My time here, those four years, were incredibly influential in my career. When I left, there was a sense of, ‘I’d love to come back here one day.’”
The opportunity came last summer, when the Sounders bid farewell to longtime assistants Gonzalo Pineda and Djimi Traore. Atlanta United hired Pineda as their next head coach while Traore took an opportunity in Europe. Seattle approached the Whitecaps during the season for permission to discuss the role with Rose, who by then was also coaching within the Whitecaps Academy.
Rose had several interviews with Head Coach Brian Schmetzer and decided that if he were extended an offer, he would accept. It was a job he couldn’t pass up.
“When I got the call from Schmetz to officially offer me the role, I was over the moon delighted,” said Rose. “I knew it was exactly the next step I wanted to take…For what I want to do next, this is the best possible starting point.”
The connections to Seattle were still strong. Rose’s wife loved their first stint in Seattle, and Rose’s sister lives in the city as well. He also maintained a strong relationship with Schmetzer, who was an assistant during Rose’s playing days, and wanted the chance to work with him.
“He’s somebody I have so much respect for and obviously the success he’s had as a head coach now throughout this last stretch has been incredible,” Rose said of Schmetzer. “Brian, I’m going to learn so much from, the way he manages the group.
“I said to all [the coaches], whatever they’re looking for from me, whatever I can do to add to the coaching staff, whether that’s working with young players, opposition analysis ... set pieces, planning training, anything. I want to be a bit of a sponge and learn as much as I can.”
Schmetzer and the technical staff interviewed a plethora of candidates for what is one of the most coveted assistant jobs in Major League Soccer. Rose was still in talks with Vancouver and several other teams about potentially continuing his playing career if the opportunity in Seattle didn’t work out, but the choice for Schmetzer to hire Rose was a simple one.
“Trust,” said Schmetzer. “I trust Andy. He’s been here, I know him… Gonzo and Djimi in their own right were tremendous people for this club, tremendous coaches. They absolutely worked every day for the success of this club, and I think Andy is going to do the same.”