After whilwind of an offseason, Rosenberry excited for USMNT camp
Keegan Rosenberry's offseaon began with a surprising trade from Philadelphia to Colorado. But the new year has started with a spot in January camp. Brian Sciaretta spoke with the right back who is aiming for a breakout in 2019.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedTHE UNITED STATES national team is full steam ahead in California and it is an important time for the team as every player in camp has a clean slate under new manager Gregg Berhalter. For Keegan Rosenberry, the call-up comes during a whirlwind of an offseason but the Pennsylvania native is eager to make a statement this camp in competitive player pool.
January 16, 2019
January 16, 2019
Rosenberry, 25, is entering into his fourth season as a professional but the start of 2019 will entail him trying to prove himself with the U.S. national team followed by the Colorado Rapids – where he was traded from the Philadelphia Union in December.
The right back is a good case study in how careers are not always a smooth trajectory upward but often require fighting through difficult periods as well. After a solid career at Georgetown University, Rosenberry was one of the top rookies in MLS in 2016 where he played every minute of the regular season and helped Philadelphia make the post season. 2017, however, was a significant step back and he lost his starting spot. In 2018, he regained his spot in the starting eleven and once again returned to the playoffs – and another first round exit.
But the past offseason saw Rosenberry shipped to Colorado for allocation money and he will now look to be part of a Colorado team that is rebuilding. But before he gets to Colorado, he is focused on the U.S. national team.
“I am very, very excited after the season - which was relatively good,” Rosenberry told ASN. “Also with this being the first camp for Gregg and seeing what he's done with Columbus. I had a little bit of interaction with him from playing Columbus and back at the combine when I had some interviews. He's a great person for the job and it's going to be exciting to work with him, and hopefully I can make a good first impression… I like to think my skillset fits the positions with how the team wants to play and how Gregg wants to play.”
This will be the second national team call-up for Rosenberry who took part in the 2017 January camp after his rookie season. At the time, the team was in desperate situation as Bruce Arena took over for Jurgen Klinsmann after dropping the first two games of the Hexagonal. Rosenberry did not play in the January camp friendlies and Arena instead used the veteran Graham Zusi as the right back.
But Rosenberry didn’t have a great season following January camp and instead felt 2018 was a year of getting back on track. For that, he can appreciate and savior being in this camp even more.
“For me, it was difficult season after my first January camp in 2017. It didn't go exactly the way I hoped. I think with how that season went, afterward I almost had to start again from square one in terms of building up my resume again for the national team. I needed a bounce back season. From that regard I am really proud.”
And while he has moved on from Philadelphia, his relationship with the team’s backline will continue in Chula Vista with the national team as both of the Union’s central defenders in Mark McKenzie and Auston Trusty were also called up by Berhalter – and that could be to his benefit.
“I am very excited for Mark and Auston with them being so young and getting this opportunity,” Rosenberry said. “They're very deserving. It's a great to know a couple of the guys there. If we are paired together, the chemistry will help but at the same time, that chemistry can only go so far under a new staff. The expectations and job description differs from team to team.”
The right back pool is competitive at the moment. When every player is available, DeAndre Yedlin is the team’s likely starter with Reggie Cannon, Shaq Moore, Nick Lima, and Rosenberry competing for the backup spot.
But part of Rosenberry building his case with the national team will also be performing well for Colorado. The Rapids are trying to rebuild from a tough season and have acquired a slew of new players – and Rosenberry will be expected to be a big part of the turnaround. The trade, initially, took Rosenberry by surprise but after the dust settled, he is ready to get going.
“Initially I was a little bit surprised and shocked,” Rosenberry said of the trade. “I didn't know quite how to feel. It is sports and you kind of always have to keep it in the back of your mind - but it's difficult to truly do that. At the same time, I tried not to be completely out of sorts when I heard about it but it definitely caught me off guard a little bit. But I was fortunate to have been given an opportunity at Philadelphia.
“I am thankful Colorado has been aggressive in terms of making me feel like I am valuable and that they want me to be a part of their organization,” he added. “So I am definitely excited about that. Looking at some of their acquisitions in the offseason is exciting. Some of the players they've brought in are going to help the team. I think you can look at last season which was a disappointment to some people and then you look back at 2016. It's a league where it's tough to draw expectations and things can change year to year.”
The last few months have indeed been a wild ride for Rosenberry but if he plays up to his potential, 2019 could see him continue an accent for both club and country.