Rosenlund (15) played with Carl Robinson (33) at Toronto FC
Like Robinson, Rosenlund is a central midfielder. Under his captain’s advice, Rosenlund also kept a close eye on the team’s other central midfielders, including talented attacking player Amado Guevara.
“He’d say how he was always in pockets and able to turn forward so easily,” remembers Rosenlund. “He’d tell me to watch him and try to replicate that. There you had the captain of Honduras who made that look so easy. Watch good pros and try to learn from them.”
Learn he did. On September 6, 2008, Rosenlund became the first Canadian player to score for a Canadian MLS team, earning Man of the Match honours for Toronto FC against Chivas USA.
Being an answer to an MLS Canada quiz is a fact that he’d only recently been informed about, but one that he now thinks back on with pride.
Being held accountable
While Rosenlund was in college, he would spend his offseason training in Vancouver with Whitecaps FC. The ‘Caps were in USL at the time and coached by Bob Lilley, who led the team to the 2006 USL First Division Championship.
Rosenlund played five seasons for Bob Lilley in Rochester
Lilley later moved on to coach Rochester Rhinos, and when Rosenlund became available he invited him to join the team.
“The biggest thing I learned from Bob was just being professional day in and day out,” said Rosenlund of his coach at Rochester. “He comes from a military background and he held everyone accountable. He says it the way he sees it, which I definitely respect. It didn’t matter if you were the most skillful player on the park, if you didn’t put in the effort during the game, you were on the bench.”
Last year, in his fifth season in Rochester, Rosenlund took on the role of captain for the first time in his career.
“I’ve definitely learned over my career to be more of a leader, just from being a young guy watching,” says the former Rhinos captain. “Now I feel that I’m the guy on the field who tries to talk, tries to give the younger guys as much information as I can. This is a pivotal time in their careers.”
“You know exactly what you’re going to get from Tyler Rosenlund,” said Koch. “He’s out there to get his job done.”
Rosenlund was team captain for the first time with the Rhinos
Naming Rosenlund as captain was an easy decision for the WFC2 head coach after seeing his leadership right from the start of training camp.
“The first day you could see him starting to talk to some of the young guys, very informal conversations,” added Koch. “He may not even know he’s doing it, but he’s guiding the young guys every single day.”
For Rosenlund, after learning from others, being captain is an honour that he fully understands.
“That comes with responsibility. People are expecting your play to be high. You can’t be taking shortcuts or not performing.”
So far, the captain likes what he sees from WFC2.
“Being in this league now for five years and looking at the talent that we have, I genuinely believe that we do have a chance to do well if we can gel together. No one is taking shortcuts, and that’s definitely the first step.”
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