It’s okay if you forgot about Sam Rogers. The former best centerback prospect in Seattle Sounders history last played with Tacoma Defiance in the pandemic-shortened season of 2020, starting just 8 matches that year. In his last game under Chris Little he wore the armband.
Rogers was part of the leadership group, and then he was forgotten.
His hat trick to beat Jerv is an excellent reminder that development isn’t linear. Now a left centerback in a three-man backline, Rogers starts every match he’s healthy. The confidence his coach, Kjetil Rekdal, has in him was earned when Sam and Rekdal earned promotion from the 2nd division with Ham Kam into the top flight.
Rekdal’s success netted him a contract with powerhouse Rosenborg and he brought Rogers with him, on a solid million dollar transfer.
Rogers has justified that money and more. All the promise of 2018 and 2019 is showing. There’s also a joy to Big Sam’s game you can see in those highlights, and on his social media.
No one will ever know what the alt history of Rogers staying within the Sounders org is like.
What we do know is that Rosenborg’s 13,000+ fans have to be happy with their latest American. He plays every minute, comfortably and feisty.
Still only 23, Rogers’ future is brighter than ever. Already having transferred once, there’s reason to think more shifts are on the way. As all of his coaches at S2 and Defiance would say, Rogers’ success, and the successes of every player who continues a pro career, is a sign of the strength of the development system.
Rosenborg and Rogers take on Aalesund this Sunday. You can actually watch it on Eleven Sports, OneFootball or FIFA+ (who doesn’t have a + these days?). The 11:00 AM PT match is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with Seattle’s Big Sam.