Seattle’s last meeting with FC Dallas served as a coming-out party for a handful of Sounders.
Victor Mansaray and Oniel Fisher made their MLS debuts in that March match. Cristian Roldan got his first MLS start. Zach Scott and Aaron Kovar made their first appearances of the season, while Chad Barrett and Andy Rose got their first starts of 2015.
It could be that no one made more use of his opportunity than Rose, who has started eight matches and appeared in all 11 since that scoreless draw at Dallas.
“A few guys have been away and have gone down injured or whatnot, so I’ve filled in at a few different positions,” Rose said this week. “In Dallas, I was playing more of the advanced role, which was pretty foreign to me. … It’s a game we feel like we dropped a couple of points there, and we want to make sure we get them back this weekend.”
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The Hoops and the Sounders will meet for the second and final time of this MLS regular season Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
Once again the Sounders will be at less than full strength, and once again Rose’s versatility seems likely to earn him time in one role or another.
“Andy’s just been very consistent,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We played him in the middle of midfield; we’ve played him on the outside as well. You know Andy’s always going to give you a good effort. He’s one of the guys that covers a lot of ground. When you average out the amount of distance he runs in a game, he’s probably … in the top five in the league for sure. So there’s a lot of attributes he brings, and with little niggling injuries there have been opportunities to continue to play — and I think he’s done well.”
The earlier game at Dallas wasn’t as much of a launching pad for the other debuting Sounders. Fisher hasn’t appeared since, and Mansaray just once more. Roldan has started four games since, and Scott three more. Barrett has started two others, but is expected to be unavailable this weekend while still working his way back from a hamstring injury suffered last week in practice.
Meanwhile, Rose is one of just three field players to appear in every Sounders match so far this season. He appears on pace to top his career-high 23 appearances, set in his 2012 rookie season.
“I’m enjoying my football, which is the main thing,” Rose said. “You go through ups and downs in this game, like any profession, and you have to stay strong more than anything. Obviously I had some tough injuries last season, so I’m just enjoying being out there, being fit, getting a lot of minutes and just trying to get better every day.”
Central defender Brad Evans is expected back at Sounders training Thursday after assisting on the game-winning goal Wednesday as the United States beat host Germany, 2-1, in Cologne. He played the final 45 minutes. … Midfielder Marco Pappa will miss the Dallas match after being called up to the Guatemalan national team for FIFA World Cup qualifiers Thursday and Monday against Bermuda. … Pappa also was named to Guatemala’s provisional roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament next month. Evans and Clint Dempsey also were named to the USA roster.