Nov 23, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC midfielder Oriol Rosell (20) celebrates after the game against the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Eastern Conference Championship soccer game at Sporting Park. Kansas City won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City’s Oriol Rosell debuts for Catalonia in friendly


Nov 23, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC midfielder Oriol Rosell (20) celebrates after the game against the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Eastern Conference Championship soccer game at Sporting Park. Kansas City won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

After a successful season with Sporting Kansas City, Oriol Rosell made a bigger splash for his native homeland. Rosell debuted for Catalonia as a second-half substitute in their 4-1 victory over Cape Verde in a friendly at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in Barcelona.

This was Rosell’s first call-up to the Catalonian national team, which is not affiliated with FIFA or UEFA but includes some of Spain’s finest footballers including FC Barcelona’s Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué.

“It will be an amazing experience to play with these players,” Rosell told MLSSoccer.com’s Greg Lalas prior to the match. “They have a lot of quality and are some of the best in the world. It’s going to be a big party and a big game and I could not be more excited. I always say I’m from Catalonia and now to be with the first team with those great players will be a very emotional experience for me.”

“I am happy that Uri will have the opportunity to play alongside some of the world’s best players,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes added. “This is a tremendous honor for both Sporting Kansas City and for Major League Soccer and this is a great way for Uri to cap off what’s been an excellent year for him.”

Does Rosell believe that Sporting Kansas City can really be a competitor in the Premier League? Most definitely.

“We’re at the level, we have good players,” Rosell told MLSSoccer.com’s Dan Itel. “For example, two are in the US national team that will play in the World Cup. We are a tough team. Two years ago Kansas beat Manchester United in a friendly and this year we will play [Manchester] City. In the CONCACAF Champions League, we won the group and got to the next round with terrible trips to Nicaragua and Honduras.”

With national team experience now under his belt, expect Rosell to make an even bigger splash next season in Major League Soccer.

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