In our three-part series ‘Freshman 15’ we will be sharing the thoughts of rookies Josh Yaro, Fabian Herbers, and Keegan Rosenberry as they reflect on their first season in MLS. Each edition will focus on one rookie as they give their five takeaways from the year, collectively creating 15 lessons the rookie class has learned this season. Our third and final edition features Keegan Rosenberry.
With one of the best performances of any rookie in the league this season, Keegan Rosenberry certainly made a name for himself in 2016. Drafted third overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Rosenberry quickly became a fixture for the Union’s defense and played every minute of every match – the only rookie to achieve that accomplishment since the league expanded to 34 matches back in 2011. Rosenberry’s first season also featured being the first rookie to be named to MLS All-Star since 2013, a strong run for Rookie of the Year, and being presented the MLS Fair Play award; in large part due to logging all 3,060 minutes without receiving one yellow card this year. After a breakout rookie year, Rosenberry shared his thoughts on 2016 and advice he would pass on to incoming rookies.
- No matter how positive or how negative people are regarding your play, always take it with a grain of salt. They're not the ones who put you on the field.
- Don't put any extra pressure on yourself, it's purely a performance-based industry, you're better off if you can play relaxed.
- Have confidence in everything you do, but you're still a rookie. Everyone has been one before, do the little things that are expected of you as a first-year pro.
- Focus on every single training session, being good every day. The players that maintain a consistent level of play succeed.
- Remember how lucky you are to have the job you do. You're doing what you love for a living, not everyone can say that.