Senior captain Michael Rose and the Fighting Irish have a stout 2012 slate.

On The Clock With Michael Rose

Sept. 13, 2011

Midfielder/forward Michael Rose suffered a knee injury in the last spring and has yet to see action in 2011. The Severna Park, Md., native has played in 33 career contests and has made 21 starts. A two-time monogram winner, he has nine points and five assists in the two seasons (2009 and 2010) in which he has played. A year ago, he played in all 20 matches, earned 19 starting appearances and finished with a career-high six points on one goal while dishing off a career-high four assists. In addition, he was named to the all-tournament team at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Rose is expected to make his return to the Irish lineup sometime in early October.’s Maura Jones recently sat down with the Notre Dame senior to tell fans more about himself and his game.

How did you get started playing soccer?
Like a lot of people, I got started when I was three or four playing in the clinic league. I really got into soccer though when I was living abroad. My dad was in the Navy, so he was stationed in Israel, and they take their soccer pretty seriously over there. I really started getting into soccer then when I was nine.

Who do you look up to in the soccer world?
I’m a big Manchester United fan, and I’ve pretty much always been a Man-U fan since I lived abroad. As far as individual players goes, I think everyone likes to watch Messi even though he runs all over Manchester United. He’s always a good player to watch.

How did you come to play at Notre Dame?
I came out here to camp the summer before my senior year in high school, and I had been looking at mostly schools on the East coast because that’s where I’m from. I came out here and I liked the coaching staff, the whole campus, and just kind of the whole aura of Notre Dame; that’s when I got hooked. I hadn’t really put any thought into Notre Dame before I came to camp, but I really liked it, and that’s how I ended up here.

How would you describe the team dynamic?
I think our coach likes to recruit a lot of really hard-working guys who are willing to improve a lot. A lot of kids come in as freshmen and don’t play a lot and have a lot of things they need to work on, but those are the kids who are eventually starting. I think we’re really hardworking all throughout the year, and we really put in the extra hours.

What is one of the funniest moments you have had with the team?
There are a lot of them. We have a lot of pranks on the team that might sound silly to some people. Actually we had one the other day. I run a lot of the Facebook videos that we do for the games. We do previews, and we try to keep them as funny as possible. Today we did a “Day In The Life Of” one of the freshmen, but he didn’t know that Dillon Powers and I were coming. We went into Sorin at about 8:15, and got on his bed and woke him up, and that was really funny. That was the best one for today, but we live together all year so we get a lot of it. Actually we had a big prank war when we went down to Florida for spring break training with one of our old trainers, Bill Agnew. It was Brendan King, two guys, and me who have already graduated, and it got to the point where we were sneaking into his room at night, through his window. The last prank was when he got us. He was basically just waiting outside our door with a bucket of water, and he got us. We had to clean it all up before we left, but I would say that it was even overall.

What is your favorite aspect of the game?
I think my favorite part is the fluidity. There is never really a moment off. You always have to be thinking on your feet. It’s not the same as football and basketball. There’s never really any “right” answer when it comes to soccer, there are multiple right answers, and that’s the beauty of it. That’s why they call it a beautiful game.

What is your favorite soccer story to tell?
One of my favorite moments happened when I wasn’t even playing. I broke my foot my sophomore year, and we were playing USF in the Big East quarterfinals, and we beat them. Everyone stormed the field, and I was behind the goal because you can only have a certain number of players on the bench. I started sprinting from behind the goal on my crutches, and my roommate ends up running over and tackling me with my broken foot with all of these people on the field. It was pretty great, and I think there’s a video of it somewhere. It was like our own mini dog pile.

How have you been able to make it so far in soccer?
I think it’s a lot of hard work. We put in three or four hours a day with just soccer things and then if you want to do your own extra work. I think also because I’ve had a lot of great coaches through the years. Our coach, Bobby Clark – we call him Boss – is probably the best coach I’ve had throughout the years. I’ve had a wide variety, so I’ve seen a lot of different styles of soccer. I would say just hard work, good coaching, and you’ve got to get lucky every now and then.

What are your personal and team goals this year?
For myself, it’s just to get back to the level that I was playing at last year. I think I’m getting there with fitness, but I haven’t been able to practice yet, so we’ll see once I get back. I tore my ACL against Ohio State in a game last spring. I had surgery in late April, and it’s been a tough summer just doing the same things over and over again. I tore my meniscus too, and I had never had a knee injury before. The target date for my return is the game against Connecticut, but now I’m getting to the exciting part where I’m running again. As far as team expectations go, I think our team goals are always to win in the regular season, Big East championship and national championship, but we’ve fallen short the past few years. This is the best team I’ve been a part of though since I’ve been here, especially because we have some new guys contributing, so it’s really exciting.

What do you study at Notre Dame and why?
I am majoring in mechanical engineering. In high school I was kind of a math-science kid. I wanted a technical base, and I kind of got into it and liked it. I enjoy it except for the time consuming part. It’s interesting to me. There’s this great feeling you get when you solve this huge massive problem.

What are some of your favorite pastimes or hobbies?
I actually do a lot of the video stuff and that takes up a lot of time. I do a lot of filming for that to keep myself occupied. I play guitar a lot. I’ve been playing since I moved back to the states, so that’s been about nine years now. It’s something to get my mind off things.

What is the most adventurous thing you have done during your time at Notre Dame?
When we’re really bored during the season, when we can’t go out to places a lot, we’ll go find the most haunted spot that we can find in northern Indiana and go wander around there. Actually Aaron Maund cried in one of the cemeteries his freshman year. He looked out the window and saw this face, and we heard this whimpering in the back. Aaron plays to be this really tough kid, so we never let him live it down. Then they looked it up, and his description was the same as what all these other people were seeing.

Who have you become closest with?
Our class [on the team] is actually really close. I think that each class has its own dynamic, and ours is that we’re really close. I would say that the person I’m closest with is Brendan King. He’s my roommate now, and it’s always our team inside joke that we’re like the best friends. I’m really close with all the guys I live with though. I’m really tight with my whole class.

When have you felt happiest in the past three years?
I want to say that it was my first game on the field against Seattle my sophomore year. We won the game 3-0, and the first time I touched the ball I almost had a shot from like eighteen that almost went in. It was just a really good feeling, especially when you come in freshman year and don’t play. I feel like I kind of worked for that moment for a whole year. When you finally get on the field you try to not let the nerves take over and you just engulf yourself in it, it’s a pretty good feeling.

What is something about you that most people wouldn’t know?
Besides the Israel thing, most people wouldn’t know that my parents have lived in New Delhi, India for the past few years. They’re back and forth from the states. My dad is no longer in the Navy. Currently, he works for a company, but kind of works with the same people. I’ve been out there only once. It’s the kind of place that you have to go once in your life to experience it, but I don’t know if I could be there more than the two weeks that I was there. We still have a place near Annapolis, Md., which is where I live. My sister and I kind of fend for ourselves when we’re home, and it is kind of fun.

Do you have any funny habits?
I have a reputation on the team as being really laid back and not letting anything bother me. My catch phrase is “I’m over it,” but I have two really OCD things. One, I have to check my alarm clock I don’t know how many times before I go to sleep. Every time I roll over, I’m just worried it’s not going to go off in the morning. I’ll check it up to probably like ten or fifteen times before I go to sleep. My old roommate Steven Perry used to mess with me. He’d be like, “Rose what time is your alarm set for?” so I would have to restart. I’d be like “Eight-fifteen,” and he’d be like, “Are you sure it’s not 8:10?” and I would have to go and check. Also with packing I have to go through multiple times and make sure I have everything. I think that has to do with my dad being a military kind of guy.

What is one thing you have always dreamed of doing?
You probably would get the same answer from a lot of kids on my team, but since I’ve been little I’ve wanted to play professional soccer. Having that as your occupation and being paid to do what you love would be a dream. A lot of people have that when they’re little kids, but the closer you get, the more real it gets, the more you want it. You see your friends go off and play different places, and it’s really cool. I’d say that’s my dream.

What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of all of the connections that I’ve made with people since I’ve been here. I’m proud of all the friends that I’ve met and all of the people on and off the field that would do a lot for me and I would do the same for them. It sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s kind of something that I’ll sit back and be proud of. There’s not much that we do off the field that is super awesome or important other than the volunteer stuff that we do. We do a lot of soccer specific things. This summer we did a free clinic at a middle school, and one of our assistant coaches and I had like 80 kids running around playing. We go and do reading days at kids’ classes around here. We do a lot of events with kids.

What is the most important lesson you have learned at Notre Dame?
As far as soccer goes, this is something that I wish I could have told my freshman self; if you work at something it will come to you. As far as soccer goes, your place is never set. A lot of freshmen will come in, and they won’t play and they’ll be upset, not realizing that everybody was in that spot before. Freshman year, I wasn’t close to coming onto the field, and I think a lot of them feel discouraged.

What are your plans for after this year?
I hope to be playing soccer by either using my fifth year of eligibility here or by playing at the next level.

— ND —