The Sporting Kansas City midfield will have a new look in 2013 and SportingKC.com's pre-season video series turned the cameras toward one of the leading candidates to control the middle of the park for the club's upcoming campaign: Oriol Rosell.
The youngster, whose #20 jersey matches his age, played just 127 minutes during the regular season last year after arriving from FC Barcelona B in August, but is now poised to step into a starting role with the departures of Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) and Julio Cesar (Toronto FC). Rosell's story from the famed fields of La Masia to the bright lights of Major League Soccer was featured by MLSSoccer.com last week.
Despite limited action, Rosell made the most of his opportunities throughout the second part of the 2012 season. He scored the game-winning goal in his second appearance, becoming the third youngest goal scorer in club history, and his strong showing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Houston saw him become the youngest KC player to start an MLS postseason match all-time. In six career MLS appearances, Sporting Kansas City is 5-0-1 and has not conceded a goal with Rosell on the field.
Should he emerge as a key contributor, he'll join the shortlist of promising young prospects to watch in Major League Soccer. In fact, MLSSoccer.com's "24 under 24" series last year featured only four players younger than Rosell:
- Omar Salgado (VAN) - No. 1 pick in 2011 SuperDraft has played at U-20 level for Mexico and U.S.
- Luis Gil (RSL) - Bradenton product is with U.S. U-20's at the CONCACAF Championship
- Juan Agudelo (CHV) - Striker has 17 appearances for USMNT since debuting at age 17 in 2010
- Andy Najar -- 2010 Rookie of the Year recently transferred to Belgian champs Anderlecht
Be sure to follow Uri on Twitter and Instagram as Rosell begins his first full season in MLS. Currently in his first pre-season with the club, it appears he's taken in several of the sights that Orlando has to offer: