Sigi Schmid With Andy Rose Early In Preseason (Courtesy of Chris Coulter / Sounders Photos)
Last year's Seattle Sounders FC Reserve team posted a 8-1-1 record in their mini-schedule. Players like Mike Fucito, Lamar Neagle and Tyson Wahl used performances in those matches to get more time with the first team. Veterans like Zach Scott, Roger Levesque and Patrick Ianni honed their craft while youngsters Mike Seamon and David Estrada showed that they are capable of more when they get the opportunity. Sammy Ochoa earned a contract from his limited Reserves play.
This year's Reserve team starts play Monday against the Vancouver Whitecaps at 11 AM. Since Saturday saw a mix of First XI and rotational players, and lingering injuries to Mauro Rosales, Adam Johansson, Michael Tetteh, Andrew Duran and Eddie Johnson , Monday should see time for several young Sounders and likely a few invitees/trialists. Andy Rose is one of those who will get time. Recently he's been playing a lot of center back with Duran out, while Mike Seamon and Alex Caskey take the central midfield positions.
Rose knows this is his opportunity to get time as he said in a one-on-one in practice last week.
It's a very talented squad from one to thirty I feel there are a lot of players that the coaching staff has a lot of confidence that they can do the job. It's a tough team to break into but that's something that I enjoy. It's a great challenge for me and it's great to learn from the veteran guys here. Now for it's just getting into the Reserve team and playing and hopefully getting 90 minutes at some point and hopefully making my way to the first team.
Unlike in college where he started regularly as a freshman he will have to battle for time. He and a few others should be able to take advantage of the injury situation and get longer looks than they might with a team fully healthy. He is likely to do so as in the defense Monday, but he sees role flexibility as an asset in any player's arsenal.
I think one of the strengths of a lot of players in the world today is versatility. I want Sigi to be comfortable putting me in at center back or center mid. Obviously, in college I played more as a defensive midfielder, but it's a pretty easy transition for me. Which ever one I'm more than happy to do for the team.
Up at the University of British Colombia Seattle will have a mix that will stretch from a capped United States National Team player (Jeff Parke) stretching down to invitees filling out the roster (perhaps a Jamael Cox?). For several players the Reserve games will just be their to prove fitness or stay sharp. The invitees will be doing all they can to follow the Ochoa path to an MLS contract. For players like Andy Rose though the hope is different, prove that they deserve to be in the gameday 18 in the next regular season match.
He knows what it will take.
At any level you have to prove yourself, go out and work hard. It's a process and it takes time, but as soon as you earn that trust you have to keep it by working hard. Hopefully that's what I'm doing.
Tomorrow is another step,