Photo credit to James Stokesberry


Former Lobo and MLS midfielder headed to Austin to lead the Aztex into USL PRO


“Iowa isn’t exactly a hotbed for youth soccer,” Lance Rozeboom said jokingly. 

Yet Iowa produced one of the all-time greats for the University of New Mexico and one of the brightest stars in all of USL PRO.  So they must be doing something right.  Rozeboom excelled in the youth game there and eventually became a key prospect coming out of the ODP program. 

He would eventually become a star for the Lobos, one of the most highly respected college programs in the country.  He credits Jerry Fishbein and Paul Souders for developing his technical skills and leadership qualities, two things that proved invaluable at the next level.   

Photo credit to James Stokesberry

Transitioning to that next level is never easy and his first season in MLS was a difficult one.  A serious injury curtailed his season just as he was getting started, working his way into the lineup.  The season was a learning experience, one that was taken to heart.

“I learned the value of hard work, how important it is to stay positive, and what it takes to be a professional. You have to be ready for the grind.  You have to make sacrifices.”

Not being on the field gave him a different perspective, but given another opportunity Rozeboom is confident he will stick in MLS for good. 

“I know I can play.  I have the ability to be back in MLS.  My goal is to play at the highest level I can.”

It’s all about managing the transitions.  There are transitions from youth to college, from college to the pros, and from one division to the next. 

“The players just get quicker, bigger, stronger, and smarter.  It’s a shock at first, but you adapt.”

Photo credit to James Stokesberry

And Rozeboom, fresh off a successful season with the Rochester Rhinos, has certainly done that. And he is now ready for that next challenge, one that will get him a step closer to the dream.

He is one of Paul Dalglish’s first signings as manager of the new Austin Aztex USL PRO franchise.  The former Houston Dynamo striker and assistant coach needed some experienced leaders as his team made the jump from PDL and well, Rozeboom was a great place to start.

Dalglish is getting a player that is very versatile, playing as a defensive midfielder or even a center back.  He is adept at controlling the pace of the game, having great vision to connect the next pass, and even doing the dirty work if called upon.  He’s really an ideal player, a coach’s dream.    

Rozeboom was the Rhinos’ top rookie in his first season, but found the second season to be a bit of a roller coaster.

“Sometimes you just have to be a good teammate and leader even when everything isn’t going your way.”   

We have a feeling that things are about to go Rozeboom’s way as he continues to strive to be the very best.  God-given talent, a competitive drive, and an infectious leadership style have the Walker, Iowa native poised for greatness.