Andy Rose scored three goals in two games in early-September, including the last-minute game-winner versus Real Salt Lake. He has started four of Seattle’s last 11 MLS matches and made appearances in all of them.
But Micheal Azira took his place in the Sounders starting midfield for their two victories over Chivas USA and Colorado, providing a steadying passing and defensive presence.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid had this to say about the duo Tuesday after training at Starfire: “They’re each different players. Rose gets forward, gets into the box a little bit more. Azira helps us a little more in possession in the midfield.
“I think in the last two games, Micheal has played very well. … I think he had like 80 percent pass completion in both games and he’s provided us what we’ve needed. But Andy is still a very big part of our mix and sometimes it’s going to depend on game to game.”
It might also depend on the health of Gonzalo Pineda, as he, Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez went “all-in” during training today, Schmid said.
– Kovar gets a look at left back
Aaron Kovar slotted in all over the field during Seattle’s 1-1 reserve-league draw with Colorado on Monday afternoon, starting in the midfield before getting a look at left back.
Kovar said Tuesday that while his preferred position is at left mid, he feels more comfortable at left back than in central midfield.
The rookie out of Stanford added this about his inaugural Sounders campaign, in which he has made three league appearances: “I knew with opportunities, I would have to earn them. And I did at certain points this season. … Although it hasn’t been as many games as in college, it offers a different kind of learning experience.”
– UW the new No. 1
It might not be directly Sounders related, but the University of Washington men’s soccer team boasts so many academy products that it counts.
The Huskies are the new No. 1 team in the nation in the NSCAA coaches’ poll released today, taking over the top spot after taking down two ranked teams last week in Cal and Stanford. UW is also tops in the RPI, the system used by the NCAA selection committee.