Vancouver Whitecaps' new MLS captain Andy Rose isn't a familiar name to many Aussie fans, but he's an example of the unheralded careers many hard-working Australians have abroad.
Born in Melbourne and now 31-years-old after spending his entire career abroad, Rose has had an exemplary career.
He worked his face through the US college system as a teenager with the UCLA Bruins and the lower levels of the American football pyramid.
After three seasons in the lower leagues Rose eventually earned his breakthrough with MLS giants Seattle Sounders - now home to Socceroo Brad Smith - where he went on to make 107 appearances and score 10 goals.
Successful but short-lived spells with Coventry City in England (where he also has citizenship through his parents) and Scotland with Motherwell followed, before he returned to the MLS with Canadian franchise Vancouver.
Despite Vancouver's size and popularity, with the club averaging sold-out crowds of 20,000 people at the uniquely designed BC Place Stadium, the Whitecaps have been slow burners over recent seasons.
Rose joined in 2019 and has endured a transitory backroom staff and playing roster.
However, a shift from his earlier midfield days towards a defensive role has paid dividends for Rose personally, as his tactical nous and natural leadership qualities have made him a standout performer for the club. An accomplishment made all the more impressive by Rose's type-one diabetes diagnosis in 2016.
This has culminated in him taking the captain's armband, after just 46 games for the club, while simultaneously taking an assistant coaching role with Vancouver's academy.
The Aussie has already earned his UEFA A and UEFA A Elite Youth licenses. In a huge 2021, Rose has also recently signed a new deal that is set to take him into his eighth MLS season.
"Andy is a consummate professional and a mentor to our young players,” Vancouver head coach Marc Dos Santos said after Rose's re-signing.
“As a member of the senior leadership group, Andy helps set the tone by his willingness to help the club wherever needed. We are very pleased Andy will continue to be a member of our club.”
Rose was especially keen to begin hands-on coaching work, as despite his growing influence in the Whitecaps squad, he astutely begins to focus on the next chapter of his career.
“I couldn’t be more excited to continue my career here in Vancouver,” Rose said. “I’m really enthusiastic about the path we’re on as a team and am motivated to give our fans a season they can get behind.
"I’m also excited to begin working with our U-19 group and thank the club for giving me the opportunity to gain valuable coaching experience.
"I think we’ve got some excellent young players and I’ll do everything in my power to advance their careers.”