The loss of holding midfielder, Oriol Rosell, could be damaging for Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer.
If the reports are true, the 21-year-old could be headed to Portugal this summer to join Sporting Clube de Portugal. In his third season in MLS, Rosell has established himself as the most technically gifted defensive midfielder in the league.
Even though he isn’t the most popular or sought-after star in his team and the league, Rosell’s departure will be a great loss because of the following reasons.
His style of play
A little bit of Steven Gerrad, a smidgen of Xabi Alonso and a whole lot of Xavi can be found in Rosell. The Spaniard’s footballing brain is almost everything a coach desires from a deep-lying midfielder.
Kansas City is one of the most fluid passing team in the league because Rosell acts as the distributor. Just like Xavi, the youngster is a pass first kind of player. He smells and sees a pass before it’s even there.
His pin-point passing ability and capability to put the ball where a teammate wants it, was a major factor in Sporting’s run to the MLS Cup last year. This season, he’s picked up where he left off, completing 90 percent of his passes, via squawka.com.
In last week’s thumping of Montreal Impact, Rosell showed the world what he was capable of doing. Despite not recording a goal or an assist, the midfielder stole the spotlight. He attempted 166 passes and completed an astounding 96 percent.
Just like Gerrard and Alonso, Rosell always seems to be at the right place and he’s ability to dissolve pressure with a long pass is extraordinary. According to whoscored.com, Rossell completes over 10 accurate long passes per game. He’s able to break up plays, provide cover for the offense-minded midfielders and his long accurate passes make Kansas City a dynamic offense unit.
The smidgen of Alonso in the Barcelona academy product is his fathomable vision. He sees and understands the game clearly. He knows when to go in for a tackle, when to pull back and absorb pressure and how to maintain a solid defensive structure.
Rosell’s vision and alertness is what makes Kansas City such a reliable defensive unit.
His developable talent and nationality
Graham Zusi, Matt Biesler and Dom Dwyer are convincing evidence that Peter Vermes is a master of talent development. These players are playing at the top of their game because of the 47-year-old’s dexterity. The American coach has put together players with distinct talent in order to form a dominant team.
Rosell is in the middle of his dominant team. He’s been placed there to control, organize and lead: all the qualities of a world-class holding midfielder. Losing him, especially when Zusi and Besler are leaving for international duty, would elevate the pressure on the defense and the team’s fluidity will suffer immensely.
The last few days, the league has taken positive steps towards achieving its ultimate goal; however, it can’t afford to lose another potential international star.
Even though Rosell is a long shot of receiving a Spanish call-up, he could possibly be wearing Spanish colors one day if he keeps developing at this rate. He’s already featured alongside Spanish superstars like Jordi Alba and Cesc Fabregas when he played 22 minutes for Catalonia in a 4-1 victory against Cape Verde.
If one day, he receives a call-up from the Spanish team as a MLS player, that would be the perfect pathway for the league to expand its fan base.
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