Keegan Rosenberry still hasn't gotten rid of the sour taste of the Union's late-season collapse and quick playoff exit. But as he and his teammates head into the offseason, Rosenberry wants to let that taste linger and serve as fuel.
"The identity we felt like we developed throughout the year, and the way we came together and the way we were winning games … it just felt like we deserved so much more by the end," he told the Inquirer and Daily News. "It's unfortunate, but I think it's going to be a motivating factor this winter, in that we know what we're capable of but we still fell short."
Though that sounds like a hope of being able to simply build on what the team did right this year, Rosenberry, a 24-year-old Harrisburg-area native, knows this offseason is likely to be much more complicated. New sporting director Ernst Tanner is likely to start making his first roster moves soon, with deadlines on players' contract decisions coming in the next few weeks.
"We haven't felt too much of his impact yet, but he's a great soccer mind and he knows what he's doing," Rosenberry said. "I'm excited for what's to come, and especially next year for him to have a clean slate and a fresh start. I think we all are."
Tanner's preferred soccer style, in which transition play matters a lot, puts a high value on outside backs. Rosenberry said he'll be ready to step up next spring.
"I've always, from the get-go, considered myself a two-way outside back," he said. "Obviously, fitness-wise it requires a lot, but I feel like that's something that can always get better. I feel like I have a pretty good base level going into it. So it might require a little more as we find out how the games go and what the games look like as we play, but I'm going to be ready for that challenge and hold myself to a high standard."
For now, much is still unknown. But if it comes together right, it should be entertaining. The foundations Tanner laid at Germany's TSG Hoffenheim helped the team become one of Europe's most forward-thinking teams.