Alain Rochat is ready for 2013 MLS season

Posted: March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C – Alain Rochat is a key defensive stalwart on the Vancouver Whitecaps back line. The Quebec, native just turned 30 last month, and was a key contributor in the Whitecaps stingy defensive game plan last season. Only 3 MLS teams allowed fewer than the 41 goals the Whitecaps surrendered.

Rochat was a huge bright spot for the Whitecaps, he did more than fans, and media expected of him. Whitecaps Coach Martin Rennie played Rochat in a holding midfield position, and Rochat was able to adjust and excel in front of the Whitecaps back four. Rochat scored twice last season and had a pair of assists in 27 games. Here are some of his thoughts on the upcoming 2013 season.

How have your practices been this week?

Alain Rochat: Slowly we are understanding how we have to behave on the pitch, being aggressive enough, and being ready for Saturday. During the pre-season you’re more focused on your fitness, and your tactical stuff. Coming into the week before the game it’s time to prepare your body to compete on Saturday.

How is the chemistry forming with the new players on the team?  

Alain Rochat: It takes time but everyday the chemistry is always better but it won’t be perfect right on Saturday. We’re going to add new players with the players from last season, and the chemistry will come by itself.

You played at Left Back, and Holding Midfield last season, where are you most comfortable playing ? 

Alain Rochat: Both are defensive roles but with different aspects. With holding midfield I’m the first defender in front of the defense, and the other one on the side I know I have to focus just on the left side but it comes just from my right side. In the midfield you have to go forward, and backward and on the side you only have to focus on what’s coming on just one side. I’m use to playing both so I’m comfortable with both.

Has Martin Rennie given you any indication where he might play you this season? 

Alain Rochat: No. We still have players who are not fit yet like Nigel Reo-Coker. He was added 10 days ago so everything can change so it’s not clear yet, but it will be a defensive role.

Speaking of Nigel Re0-Coker how is he coming along? 

Alain Rochat: Good. I think he’s doing well, he will be ready pretty soon, and that’s great for us.

What can you tell me about rookies Erik Hurtado, and Kekuta Manneh? 

Alain Rochat: The rookies we have are very very speedy. They’re supposed to bring us some speed on the sides and I was really impressed by both of them during the pre-season. Of course Kobayashi too, I was really impressed by his skills and the way he can turn the ball around as a passer or a finisher. That’s a great addition for us.

Vancouver was voted as having the 2nd worst quality field in MLSWhat do you think about the pitch at BC Place Stadium? 

Alain Rochat: I really like the atmosphere there when it’s crowded, it’s very nice to play there. We aren’t the only one with a turf field. Maybe the players aren’t use to playing on the turf but I like playing on this pitch.

You’re a big fan the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. Can you tell me about your love for the Habs? 

Alain Rochat: It started when I was visiting my family in Montreal and the Habs there are really really important. As soon as I started to understand the rules of hockey I totally fell in love with the rhythm from one side to the other side with the (game) speed. Even in Europe I watched them online and I’ve been following them for a long time now. I really enjoy watching them.

Do you have a message for all the Vancouver Whitecaps fans? 

Alain Rochat: We’re ready for the season, we’re excited for the season and I hope they are too. As always we’re going to do our best and try to improve compared to last season.

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