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Matchday 21 Agenda Check: Paul Rothrock soars again

Lobbing Scorchers checks in with the state of various pet agendas.

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4 min read

Welcome to the first installment of the written version of the Lobbing Scorchers’ Agenda Check. Each week we take a look at the status of various agendas that we either would like to push ourselves or notice permeating among the fan base surrounding particular Sounders players. Let’s dive in.

Paul Rothrock

Agenda status: Skyrocketed to dimensions as of yet undiscovered by mankind

When the Paul Rothrock Agenda initially took shape in 2023, the whole idea was admittedly somewhat in jest. While his goal-scoring run in the U.S. Open Cup and game-winner against the Houston Dynamo last year were fun content, I would be lying if I said I sincerely believed that Rothrock would become a consistent contributor at the MLS level or part of any sort of long-term answer to Seattle’s goal-scoring struggles.

It’s not a bit anymore. Rothrock just scored another MLS goal, for a second game in row, this time to help Seattle erase a 2-0 deficit and take home a road point from Houston. 

It wasn’t just the goal. Rothrock had a presence about him in this game that I don’t think we’d seen yet in his brief but eventful MLS career. He was taking on defenders fearlessly. He was working hard on defense. He was talking trash to the opposition. He was playing with juice and swagger, attributes that this team could really use.

I don’t think it’s even a question anymore as to whether Rothrock should be getting minutes. As long as he’s one of the only players on the team finding the net with regularity, he should be on the field. This is once again the most blazing hot agenda of the week and of the season.

Reed Baker-Whiting

Agenda status: Not necessarily strengthened but also definitely not diminished

When I first looked at Wednesday’s starting XI and saw RBW on the graphic as the left winger, I was almost as intrigued and excited as I was to see Rothrock on the opposite side.

Out of all the recent crew of Sounders Academy products, the scout and pundit class seem to believe that RBW’s longterm upside is the highest. He’s been slowed by injury this season, but since he’s gotten back in the mix, you can see glimpses as to what has everyone so excited. 

But what’s his best position? The 19-year-old had largely been deployed as a fullback this season, making his presence as a wingback in this game a chance to see what he could do in a more advanced role, where he mostly played with Tacoma Defiance and in the academy.

He didn’t get on the statsheet in this one, but I still continue to like what I see from RBW. He’s got good service from out wide, and has also shown he can eliminate defenders 1-v-1 and create dangerous opportunities. Should he do that with more consistency and develop his end-product, count me as cautiously optimistic that RBW could break out in MLS and see those rumors of a high-profile overseas transfer start to bubble up once again.

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