Oriol Rosell - Orlando City - shown a yellow card - close-up

SANFORD, Fla. – A lot has happened in Major League Soccer since Oriol Rosell went on a European adventure after playing with Sporting Kansas City from 2012-2014.


Toronto FC went on a meteoric run to claim a first MLS Cup title, Atlanta United and LAFC weren’t even in the picture – even his current team, Orlando City SC, was pushing its MLS bid from the minor leagues.


Rosell is amazed how much, and how quickly, the league has grown after returning this offseason to play for the Lions.


“I think that’s a really good thing,” Rosell said. “One of reasons why I wanted to [come back] here was of because this, the league is growing. Each team can bring a lot of value to the league. I think the league is going to be even more competitive in a few years, and I would say that it’s the league to be [in].”


Returning to MLS wasn’t easy, however. Rosell was not match fit and was recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss Orlando’s first few games of the season.


But after Rosell saw his most minutes this season when he came on at halftime for Cristian Higuita against Atlanta United Sunday, coach Jason Kreis praised the midfielder’s efforts while acknowledging that Rosell has been patiently waiting for his opportunity.


“I thought Uri came in with a positive performance, and [he’s] a high-level player, that’s why we brought him here,” said Kreis before Wednesday’s training session. “He’s been a player that’s been waiting for his opportunity to start in a match, he’s come into some matches and had some really positive contributions – I would say this one was his most positive one. [He’s] a very sound tactical player but can also get around the park and make tackles.”


With Yoshimar Yotun suspended for Friday’s match against Toronto FC (8 pm | TSN - Full TV & streaming info) due to yellow card accumulation, it’s most likely the Spanish midfielder will see additional minutes.


For Rosell, though, it’s mind over matter if the opportunity presents itself.


“If the mind wants to play, you can find energy in your body,” said Rosell. “But of course, we are humans, so you never know, but in my mind if I can play 90 [minutes], of course.”