A left back with playing experience in the UEFA Champions League, Canadian-born Alain Rochat joined Whitecaps FC's Major League Soccer roster from Swiss club FC Zürich on Jan. 21, 2011. The native of Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, initially signed with Vancouver in Aug. 2010 before spending the remainder of the year on loan at FC Zürich.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
2012: In Vancouver’s season opener, Rochat assisted on Sebastien Le Toux’s first goal for Whitecaps FC during a 2-0 home win over Canadian arch-rivals and MLS expansion club Montreal Impact on Mar. 10. He then assisted on Eric Hassli’s spectacular volleyed equalizer during the very late stages of the first leg in the Amway Canadian Championship final, as Whitecaps FC earned a 1-1 home draw with Toronto FC on May 16. Rochat then scored his first goal of the season during a 2-2 home draw with Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC on May 19. His efforts earned him a spot in the MLS Team of the Week for Week 11. Rochat then assisted on Martin Bonjour’s first goal in MLS during a 1-1 home draw with New York Red Bulls on June 20. His second goal of the season came in a 2-2 home draw versus Colorado Rapids on Sept. 23. Rochat then started Whitecaps FC’s first-ever match in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Nov. 1, as Vancouver fell 2-1 at defending champions LA Galaxy. 2011: Rochat was the first MLS recipient of the Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero Award following an impressive first season with Whitecaps FC. He was third in league appearances for the Blue and White, while leading all defenders, after starting all but one of his 28 MLS matches that year. Rochat split his time between left and centre back and also started the Apr. 10 match against Houston Dynamo as a holding midfielder. The experienced defender also started six matches wearing the captain’s armband, which includes the international friendly against Manchester City. Starting at left fullback, Rochat made his MLS debut in the club's inaugural match on Mar. 19, as Whitecaps FC defeated Canadian rivals Toronto FC 4-2 at Empire Field. He then scored his first goal for Whitecaps FC during a 2-1 home defeat to FC Dallas on Apr. 23 before assisting on Mouloud Akloul's goal in extra time of Whitecaps FC's 1-1 home draw with Montreal Impact in the second leg of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal on May 4. The draw earned Whitecaps FC a 2-1 aggregate victory over Montreal in the two-match series. His second goal of the season was Whitecaps FC's match winner, as Vancouver ended a 14-match winless streak with a 1-0 victory at home to Philadelphia Union on June 18. In earning Whitecaps FC a 1-0 home win over Houston Dynamo on Aug. 27, Rochat earned a spot in the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week for Week 24. He then assisted on Long Tan's first goal in MLS during Whitecaps FC's 2-1 home win over D.C. United on Oct. 12 before scoring Vancouver's final goal of the season in a 2-1 home defeat to Colorado Rapids on Oct. 22.
2010-11: After signing with Whitecaps FC on Aug. 17, 2010, Rochat remained on loan with FC Zürich for the first half of their season. The defender started all 14 appearances during his loan spell with FC Zürich. This included three starts in the first three rounds of the Schweizer Cup that season. 2009-10: As Swiss champions, Rochat appeared with FC Zürich in the UEFA Champions League. He started both legs of the club's third qualifying round success over Slovenia's NK Maribor before helping FC Zürich to the group stage after a two-leg playoff win over Latvia's FK Ventspils in Aug. 2009. Playing in Group C, the centre back started all six matches, as FC Zürich finished bottom of a group that consisted of Spanish giants Real Madrid, Italian Serie A powerhouse AC Milan, and French club Olympique de Marseille. He also scored two goals in 32 appearances domestically, as FC Zürich finished a disappointing seventh in the Swiss Super League standings. Those goals came in a 3-2 home defeat to Young Boys on July 14, 2009, and in a 4-1 home win over AC Bellinzona on July 25, 2009. Rochat also started FC Zürich's second and third-round matches in the Schweizer Cup that season. 2008-09: Scoring four goals in 29 appearances during his third season with FC Zürich, the defender claimed his second Swiss Super League championship title with the club. His four league goals included match winners versus FC Luzern (July 23, 2008), Liechtenstein-based outfit FC Vaduz (Dec. 14, 2008) and strikes in both league contests versus arch-rivals Grasshopper Club Zürich (Aug. 10, 2008 & May 29, 2009). Rochat also started both games in FC Zürich's run to the Schweizer Cup quarterfinals that season, as well as the first leg of the club's UEFA Cup second qualifying round match-up versus Austria's SK Sturm Graz on Aug. 14, 2008. 2007-08: After making his move to FC Zürich permanent, the defender scored his first goal for the club, as they defeated FC Luzern 4-1 on July 26, 2007. Rochat went on to make 28 appearances in his second season with FC Zürich, as they finished third in the Swiss Super League. He also recorded an assist in FC Zürich's quarterfinal defeat to FC Thun in the Schweizer Cup (Swiss Cup) on Dec. 15, 2007. Rochat also appeared in European club competition that season, starting with both legs in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, as FC Zürich fell 3-1 on aggregate to Turkish club Beşiktaş J.K. in Aug. 2007. After failing to reach the UEFA Champions League group stages, FC Zürich took part in the UEFA Cup, with Rochat making eight appearances for the Swiss outfit, as they reached the Round of 32 before falling 3-1 on aggregate to German giants Hamburger SV. The defender scored FC Zürich's only goal during a 3-1 first-leg defeat at home to Hamburg on Feb. 14, 2008. 2006-07: After an unsuccessful spell in France with Stade Rennais Football Club, Rochat returned to his native Switzerland when he joined FC Zürich on a season-long loan. The defender started 11 of his 17 appearances that season, as Rochat won the first of two Swiss Super League championship titles with the club. He also recorded an assist on Blerim Dzemaili's goal during a 2-0 win at FC Thun on Dec. 2, 2006. 2004-05: The centre back scored two goals in 33 appearances for Young Boys, who finished fourth in the Swiss Super League that year. One of those goals came in a 3-1 victory at FC Aarau on Aug. 21, 2004. 2003-04: With Nationalliga A changing its name to the Swiss Super League, and the elimination of the playoffs to determine the league champion, Rochat helped Young Boys to a runners-up finish after making 35 appearances for the club that season. 2002-03: Rochat scored two goals in 34 appearances for Young Boys, as the Bern outfit finished seventh in the regular season standings and fourth in the championship playoffs. 2001-02: Rochat split his time between Yverdon-Sport and Berner Sport Club (BSC) Young Boys during his third season. Rochat scored five goals in 21 appearances for Yverdon-Sport, as they finished just outside the promotion playoff places in Nationalliga B. The centre back then returned to Nationalliga A when he joined BSC Young Boys in Jan. 2002. He scored one goal in 13 appearances with the Bern-based club, as Young Boys finished seventh in the championship playoffs. 2000-01: The teenage Rochat made a more telling contribution in his second season at Yverdon-Sport, as the centre back scored two goals in 28 appearances. Unfortunately, Yverdon-Sport's tenth-place finish in Nationalliga A resulted in relegation to Switzerland's second-tier Nationalliga B. 1999-2000: Rochat made his professional debut with Yverdon-Sport FC in Switzerland's top-flight Nationalliga A. The defender made three appearances in his first season with the club, as Yverdon-Sport finished fifth in the regular season standings and bottom in the championship playoff standings.
FRENCH LIGUE I
2006-07: Rochat started one match for Stade Rennais reserves in Group D of the fourth-tier Championnat de France Amateur (CFA) before returning to his native Switzerland when he joined FC Zürich on a season-long loan. 2005-06: Rochat made his first venture abroad in June 2005 when he joined Stade Rennais Football Club in France's top-flight Ligue 1. The defender started four of his nine appearances for the Brittany-based outfit, as Stade Rennais finished seventh in Ligue 1 that season. He also started one match in France's Coupe de la Ligue (League Cup) and made another start for the club in their final UEFA Cup Group G match, as Stade Rennais fell 5-1 away to Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki on Dec. 14, 2005.
Though born in Canada, Rochat has represented Switzerland at youth and senior international level. Senior: Rochat made his senior international debut on June 4, 2005, as Switzerland claimed a 3-1 away victory over Faroe Islands in Group Four of European qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. U-21: After making several appearances for Switzerland's U-16, U-18, and U-19 national teams, the defender became the youngest member of Switzerland's U-21 squad that hosted the UEFA European U-21 Championship tournament in 2002. Led by head coach Bernard Challandes, the Swiss finished runners-up in Group A before losing 2-0 to France in the semifinals on May 25, 2002. Two years later, Rochat played alongside Whitecaps FC teammate Davide Chiumiento during his country's appearance at the 2004 UEFA European U-21 Championship in Germany. Switzerland finished bottom of Group B behind Sweden, Portugal, and hosts Germany.
The centre back played youth soccer for FC Grandson-Tuileries in his native Switzerland before moving to Yverdon-Sport FC in 1995.
A dual citizen of both Canada and Switzerland, Rochat was born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and lived in nearby Sainte-Sabine, Quebec, before moving with his family to Switzerland when he was just two years of age. As a student, Rochat attended Centre professionnel du Nord Vaudois in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, as well as Écoles Primaire and Secondaire Grandson in nearby Grandson, Switzerland. His parents are Sylvie and Yvan Rochat, and he has two older sisters and one younger brother. The defender married his wife Emilie in July 2006 and has three children named Malicia, Nathéo, and Soleny.
When not concentrating on his soccer career, Rochat enjoys reading, playing tennis and video games, and watching ice hockey. In fact, the defender is a big fan of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. As a youngster, Rochat was a fan of Italian giants AC Milan, while he also enjoys watching the English Premier League. The defender is also an admirer of Bayern Munich and Germany striker Miroslav Klose, as well as Barcelona and Spain stars Xavi and Andres Iniesta.