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Ship’s Log, July 1: Right place, right time

There are more attacking soccer skills than dribbling, shooting and running -- like being annoying.

Last Updated
3 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

It’s easy to dismiss Paul Rothrock as someone who is a less-than-ideal soccer player. He even does it himself sometimes, diminishing his technical ability and speed.

The coaching staff goes along with that premise, too.

In an age when what can be done with a ball and two feet often appears supernatural, you are unlikely to see that from Rothrock.

Instead you’ll get the smartest player on the field. His understanding of space and his routine of pestering opposing players is rapidly become a legend. Small, but fierce, Paul is crafty.

“I think Paul will be really important for us this year,” Cristian Roldan said in preseason.

Turns out Roldan was right. Maybe not the way he thought of it.

It’s that pestering that made the difference Saturday night. Over on they track a stat called Goal Creating Actions. These are actions that create a goal (which yes, is self explanatory). These can be dribbles, shots, passes, etc.

These can be getting fouled, too. Rothrock has two of those on the season, and could have had two others against Chicago. There was a handball that was called for a penalty and the bizarre moment when getting kicked in the head in a DOGSO situation was not worthy of drawing a foul.

How notable are Paulie’s two GCA via foul? He has more than seven teams in the league. Seattle is first in the league with nine, which shouldn’t be a surprise. They also have only given up one.

Who else annoys the opposition into creating goals by sacrificing their body? Jordan Morris. Morris has twice drawn penalties this year because there are times when the only defense is to slice him down.

Rothrock doesn’t create fouls that way.

He creates fouls by being underestimated, underhanded and underwhelming. He creates goals with his mind.

Paul Rothrock is a beautiful reminder that this game can be played by all types, not just those who can juggle a ball or run a 40, but by an undersized, underappreciated college grad who is better at seeing space than those others.

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Catching up on Sounder at Heart

What you need to get ready for the weekend's action.


Next game: Saturday July 6 Seattle hosts New England Revolution at Lumen Field. The 7:30 pm PDT match is on MLS Season Pass.

Reviewing the 2-1 win over Chicago

Other news


Next game: Sunday July 7 Seattle hosts Utah Royals (who just fired their coach) at Luman Field. The 3 pm PDT match is on KONG and NWSL+. It is also the last match before the Olympics break and Summer Cup.


Tacoma's all the way down at 7th, even after the win over T2. Their 2-6-0 road record needs correction if they are to climb into regular season respectability again.


After their 3-1 loss on the road to Northern Colorado Hailstorm, Spokane will need help if they are to advance to the knockout rounds of the Jägermeister Cup. They are third with 5 points. With just three matches left in the group stage, Velocity will need to sweep to have a reasonable chance at advancing.

USL2 teams

A recent surge by United PDX puts them as the only Oregon team in the top 6 of the Northwest Division. Ballard still rules.

Looking back at the news

Everything else you need to know

Quinn and Huitema are going to the Olympics!

No Seattle Sounders made the MLS All Star Game roster. The last time they were shut out was 2018.

St. Louis City and Utah Royals join the ranks of coaching changes in 2024. Amy Rodriguez is the second coach fired this year. Bradley Carnell is the 5th MLS coach to move on.

ESPN is adding a weekly women's soccer show.

From Matt Doyle's column those of us in the stadium learn that the intermittent power issues messed with some of the ability to broadcast.

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