Rose Brings Experience To Young UCLA Team
By Caroline Martin
Soccer is the world's game. For UCLA senior midfielder Andy Rose, this has proven true from the time he was introduced to the sport as only an infant. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Rose moved to England when he was just two and then to the United States when he was 11.
"Moving around helped me a lot," said Rose. "I've been exposed to different environments and cultures and different philosophies of soccer. It has helped me understand people."
Rose began playing at the elite level at age 14 when he was living in Chicago.
"At thirteen, my dream profession was soccer," said Rose. "It's every young man's dream, and I would love to play professionally."
Following six years in Chicago, Rose moved to Bristol, England, at age 15. "I owe a lot of where I am now to the move back to Britain. It was a big turning point in my life," said Rose. "I loved it and took full advantage."
Rose drew attention from the West Coast while playing for Wycliffe College in Britain. "I came out to UCLA for a visit and immediately fell in love," said Rose.
He also attributes some of his decision to his older sister, a tennis player at Northwestern. "My sister was telling me how incredible college was, and how [it can help you] learn about yourself and improve your game," he said.
Rose signed with UCLA and began an impressive college career in 2008.
In his first three years, Rose had 49 starts in 57 games played. Today, Rose leads the team as captain for the second year.
"I have learned a lot about the job, what it entails," said Rose. "You have to be a levelheaded player and I take it very seriously."
Rose also understands and values the bonds and relationships with the team. "I also try and create a fun environment," said Rose. "It's important to feel comfortable."
Rose and his roommate Shawn Singh have discovered yoga as a different way to relax and get a break from their demanding schedules.
"I want to leave a legacy at UCLA and make sure I am remembered here," said Rose. "I want to lead these guys and be someone they can all turn to. I enjoy being the guy that the guys go to."
It will not be difficult for Rose to be remembered as he hopes to lead the team to the NCAA Championship.
"The team is very young, we lost a lot of great players," said Rose. "No one had high expectations, but we made it to the Elite Eight, and the Final Four last year. It was a tremendous year for me and the team."
UCLA faces California opponent and fellow 2010 NCAA tournament team University of California Santa Barbara on Friday, September 16.
"The UC Santa Barbara game has been a huge game the last three years I have been here," said Rose. "I have respect for them, they are close friends but it's a battle, a grind."
In the third round of the 2009 NCAA tournament against the Gauchos, Rose had an assist to tie the game.
Following this season, Rose has his sights on the professional ranks. He trained in Sweden with Hammarby FC in the summer of 2011 and also the LA Galaxy in the summer of 2010. "I loved Sweden and I would love for that to be a possibility in the future," said Rose. "I want to turn pro, and [I will] work as hard as I can to get there."
Rose will undoubtedly have the support to pursue a professional career.
"Family is really close to me, I owe everything to them," said Rose. "My mom would drive four hours a day taking me and my sister to practices. It's amazing everything she did.
"I don't think my dad missed a game from the time I was about 8 until I was 18. Whether it was a great game or a rough night, they were there."
Despite the distance now in between his parents back in England and his West Coast school, it doesn't change a lot. "They would stay up really late in England to see the results of my games in California," said Rose. "They are very involved and I love it."
It appears that Rose made the right decision committing to the Bruins several years ago.
"My time at UCLA has been the most exciting time in my life," said Rose. "I hold it very close to my heart."
TOMORROW | 11:00am PTLive