Rozzano pushing himself to return in 2015
By Jacob Spiegel
March 3, 2015
Much of the buzz surrounding the University at Albany men’s soccer team this year was about the Brazilians who played for the team. They were a major hit off the field, especially on social media. One the most important players on the field is junior right midfielder Anthony Rozzano. He has been a starter and key piece of the team for the last three years.
His freshman year he came in as one of the most fit members of the team. Being a freshman and a starter, his fitness is what helped his teammates gain trust in him because it showed that he would “give it his all,” as he said.
He returned his sophomore year in even better shape and ready to play. While not having the season they hoped for, the Great Danes had a better season than the previous one and Rozzano credited this to the team being “better at coping with losing and learning from a loss,” as he said. This also helped, “The team grow together.”
This past season, despite the team as a whole having the highest level of discipline and fitness of the past three years, they struggled more than they had in the past. The issue was they were learning a new system. “It required us to move the ball more and to work together more, it was different than what we had done in the past and was difficult to understand until the end of the season when we finally started getting it,” said Rozzano. The team scored more goals in October than any other month in the season.
It turned out that Rozzano had been playing through pain for most of his career to this point. Last week, he went to Philadelphia to repair damage to his right and left groin. “The doctor asked me why I was smiling when I was about to get the surgery and I told him, ‘Because it’s going to be the first time I can run, do a lunge, kick a ball, the first time in a year and a half I can play without any pain,’” Rozzano said.
Rozzano started rehab almost immediately and plans to get back to practicing as soon as possible. Along with the promise of playing without pain, Rozzano has high hopes for his senior season. Calling last season a “learning season,” and this upcoming season, “the year, the year we do something no other UAlbany men’s soccer team has done in the past, win the America East Championship.”
“Three years of hell all for this,” said Rozzano in reference to the buildup to this season.
When asked if the increase in crowd numbers and the addition of a new stadium helped them this season he said, “This season, we will be something people really want to see, it’s the year.”
Rozzano get his drive from his past coach and role model Paul Valenti, who instilled the motto of “Push Yourself,” which you can see on the 90 percent of the shirts Rozzano wears, into his work ethic. “It means to step outside of your comfort zone in everything that you do,” he said when asked what the motto meant to him.
Right now Rozzano is rehabbing his groin, taking classes, and interning at a local bank all with the goal of excelling in the upcoming season. Rozzano said that he will return as, “The creative player I used to be.” He plans to score eight goals and have 10 assists.
Rozzano and the Great Danes return to the field in the fall.