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Former Sounders player Andy Rose ‘over the moon’ to now be a Sounders assistant coach

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Soccer is no longer predictable for Andy Rose.

The former Sounders midfielder is back as a first-year assistant coach, accepting the position earlier this month. Now walking into a room as part of Brian Schmetzer’s technical staff instead of a player, Rose must be ready for anything.

“I give him grief every day,” Schmetzer said with a nebulous smile. Rose began his MLS career with the Sounders from 2012 to 2015 when the late Sigi Schmid was the head coach and Schmetzer was an assistant.

“I put (Andy) under pressure in the coaches’ office. I put his feet to the fire,” Schmetzer continued after an intrateam scrimmage at Lumen Field on Thursday. “When I walk in there (now), the first question I’m going to ask is, ‘Hey, Andy, how did you think the game went?’”

Well, coach Rose?

“Some of the young players were really energetic, really enthusiastic,” Rose told media. “We’re really trying to figure out individuals, which ones can make it to the next step. For the first-team players coming back in, a big part was about fitness and building that base. We’re missing a lot of guys, so can they stamp that authority on the group and show that leadership that we need because there’s so many young players in camp.”

The most important observation Thursday was self-reflective — Rose wasn’t overwhelmed with the urge to play. He’s just two months removed from his MLS playing career, starting in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ playoff loss to Sporting Kansas City.

But when Schmetzer’s 2021 staff was gutted by the departures of longtime assistants Gonzalo Pineda and Djimi Traore in August, Rose started thinking about retirement. Pineda left to become the head coach for Atlanta United while Traore heads an international academy in Denmark.

The Sounders immediately reached out to Vancouver for permission to talk to Rose about the position, also fielding inquiries from a host of other candidates. After a thorough vetting process, Schmetzer said he settled on Rose, 31, because of his youthfulness, experience and their shared trust in each other.

Rose filled the final spot on Schmetzer’s staff. Freddy Juarez, 43, left his position as head coach for Real Salt Lake in August to accept the other vacant assistant coaching position. Juarez also played and is fluent in Spanish.

Preki, a former MLS Coach of the Year, and goalkeeping director Tom Dutra round out Schmetzer’s revamped staff.

“It was important midway through last season that I understood that (I could be retiring) and wrapped my head around that and what it meant playing-wise,” Rose said. He started 58 of his 106 appearances across all competitions for the Sounders, scoring 10 goals. He left for Europe to test other playing styles, joining the Whitecaps in 2019 where he transitioned to center back and totaled three goals and three assists in 60 matches.

“I tried to enjoy every single training session as much as possible and every opportunity to play, feeling like it could be my last,” he said. “Maybe that itch will come a little bit later on, but I’m so focused on the work, on planning sessions and helping any way I can. Building this new trust and relationship with each player. I want to be somebody that they feel very comfortable to connect with and talk about their own individual games.”

Rose, who’s studying for his UEFA coaching license, started coaching the Vancouver academy’s U-17 team last year. He adapted to a coach’s typical long day by training with the first team in the mornings and leading the youth in the afternoons.

It’s a budding skill set that Traore mastered, helping defender Nouhou work his way to becoming an MLS All-Star center back last season. Pineda was often credited with innovative in-game tactical decisions.

But Schmetzer said he isn’t divvying duties like what was apparent when Pineda and Traore — both former Sounders players — helped the club reach three MLS Cup finals, winning the championship in 2019. Traore was also part of the 2016 MLS Cup win.

Sounders forward Will Bruin spotted some similarities with the addition of Rose. Bruin joined the Sounders in 2017 and tested Rose’s defending skills as Cascadia rivals.

“As a player, when you have somebody that just came from your side onto the coaching staff, it’s almost more personable,” Bruin said. “Some people feel more comfortable around a coach who’s a little younger and can kind of relay a message secondhand. It’s a good transition for some of the young guys to feel more comfortable talking to somebody else like them.”

Rose has the benefit of being part of the Sounders season since Day 1. Juarez was brought in as the team was still in contention for the Leagues Cup championship, Cascadia Cup, top seed in the Western Conference and an outside chance at the Supporters’ Shield.

“It was game, after game, after game,” Juarez said. “There’s a style of play here. There’s a game model that Brian likes. I wanted to see it and take a look at it so I can see how I can then help the group in training sessions, games and video. I can finally take a breath and understand the whole scenario and how it works.”

Rose also described himself as sponge, ready to soak up all the knowledge he can from a coaches’ room stuffed with experience. Similar to Rose’s 2015 season in Seattle, the Sounders will mesh goals for a deep run in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament with winning another league title.

Yet as a coach, Rose will have to look out for the unpredictable parts of helping to lead a talented and ambitious team.

“This is what I wanted to have happen, but, of course, you’re never quite sure,” Rose said. “When I got the call from Schmetz to officially offer me the role, I was over the moon. It’s exactly the next step I wanted to take.”





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Gameday Guide: Your complete timeline for the Rapids’ Sunday doubleheader 

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2:00-5:00 P.M. Happy Hour at Hamburger Mary’s

Start your gameday off right at Hamburger Mary’s for drink specials and giveaways! Individuals have the option to bus from Hamburger Mary’s to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park at 4:00. The bus will return individuals to Hamburger Mary’s after the match. Purchase bus tickets here.

5:00 P.M. C38 Pride Tailgate

Join C38 for their Pride tailgate before making your way into the stadium! All are welcome to enjoy the pregame festivities and get hype to watch the Burgundy Boys with Colorado’s best supporters’ section.

Countdown to kickoff starts now! Welcome the Rapids to the pitch with hype videos, lineups and special Pride features.

6:00 PM Colorado Rapids vs Seattle Sounder FC Kickoff

Come on you Burgundy Boys!

9:10 PM Rapids 2 vs Tacoma Defiance Kickoff

Don’t head out just yet! Colorado’s MLS NEXT Pro side Rapids 2 will make their DICK’S Sporting Goods Park debut directly at the conclusion of the Rapids’ matchup with Seattle.





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2022 MLS season: Fire standing behind struggling goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

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Gabriel Slonina has made his decision. He’s going with the United States men’s national team.

Slonina, 18, announced Friday on social media he is committing to the US over Poland. A dual national, Slonina was recently named to Poland’s roster for its upcoming UEFA Nations League matches but has chosen to cast his lot with the United States program. Poland clearly wanted Slonina badly, as shown by coach Czesław Michniewicz traveling to Chicago to meet with him and present him a jersey.

Those overtures were rejected, and Slonina explained why. Though he discussed his pride in his heritage and what it means to be Polish, Slonina said “my heart is American.”

“This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for,” Slonina posted. “It’s pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I’ll put my head down is to kiss it. America is home and that’s who I’m going to represent.”

Because of his age, FIFA rules allow Slonina to play in three matches for a national team before being bound to a country, so it’s possible he could change his mind in the future.

Slonina is part of a crowded US goalkeeping picture that includes Manchester City’s Zack Steffen, the Revolution’s Matt Turner (who will join English club Arsenal this summer) and former Fire standout Sean Johnson, currently the captain of reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC. Poland is also strong in net, led by Wojciech Szczęsny, the starter for Italian powerhouse Juventus.

But just because Slonina, who’s represented the US at youth levels, has made this decsion doesn’t mean all his major choices are complete. Slonina’s been linked with major European clubs, and with their transfer windows opening soon, the young goalie might be forced to decide between famous teams in the near future.

Slonina’s recent play for the Fire has raised questions about whether those outside factors have taken a toll. Last Saturday, Slonina’s late giveaway led to the Fire’s 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati. Then on Wednesday against the Red Bulls, Slonina whiffed on an easy save for New York’s second goal, overcommitted on their stoppage-time equalizer and could’ve easily given away a penalty after contacting an opposing attacker in the Fire box.

After the Red Bulls match, coach Ezra Hendrickson was asked whether the external noise was affecting Slonina’s concentration.

“Maybe outside of the game but in the game I don’t think he’s thinking about all that stuff. He just happened to make some mistakes,” Hendrickson said. “You know, we all make mistakes as soccer players and it just happened to be that in that position of his, your mistakes are more dangerous, are more costly than someone missing a goal or something like that. But he’ll get out of it and we’ll make sure that he stays positive and stays confident.”

Perhaps that will be easier for Slonina with one major decision out of the way.





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Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi – rsl.com

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Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi  rsl.com



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