Going into the January transfer window, all Brøndby fans knew Sigurd Rosted was a likely sell candidate. The Norwegian defender was on an expensive contract expiring after the season, and with new ownership and head coach he was one of those players that could be sold to turn the page of a new attack on the top of the league. Still, the announcement of his departure was received with sadness among the fans. Rosted was highly appreciated for his work ethic and no-nonsense professionalism – on and off the pitch.
From Oslo to the National team
Sigurd Rosted has had somewhat of an unusual journey to the football top. He started his career in modest surroundings at 3rd tier side Kjelsås in the Norwegian second division where he played semi-professional. Here, he fought his way into the starting lineup at 17 and played three seasons before bigger challenges came calling.
By moving to Sarpsborg 08 in the top flight in 2015, Rosted became a household name in Norwegian football and earned a full-time contract. During his time there, he managed to establish himself as one of the finest young Norwegian defenders due to his physicality and maturity. He even made his debut for the national team in a friendly against Albania and scored the only goal of the match as Norway won 1-0.
Once again, bigger challenges awaited Rosted. In 2018, halfway through the season, he joined Belgian side Gent, where he, once again, effortlessly adjusted to the bigger surroundings and higher demands. He quickly became a regular on the team, but lost his place in the central defense towards the end of the following season.
In pursuit of regular playing time, Rosted forced through a departure from Gent and joined Danish giants Brøndby IF. Over the next 3.5 years, Rosted would develop into one of the leaders on the team and play a pivotal role in the rebuild of the club.
When Brøndby won the Danish championship for the first time in 16 years in 2021, it was with Rosted as one of the cornerstones. He scored three goals, all of them in crucial victories, and he performed well in the intense derby matches against FC Copenhagen. Playing to the right as one of three central defenders, he was part of the Superliga’s best performing defense alongside recent Colorado Rapids signing Andreas Maxsø.
Unfortunately for both Brøndby and Rosted, the team wasn’t able to keep the high level. The success on the pitch saw multiple profiles leave for bigger destinations, and the club fell into despair. The level of the championship season was impossible to keep without the stars, and head coach Niels Frederiksen began switching tactics frantically. One of these moves was going away from the successful 3-man defense, and Rosted lost his spot in the lineup.
Eventually, Frederiksen was sacked, and Brøndby was furthermore bought by a new ownership group. The new owners wanted the club to go younger and use players with higher re-sell value than the 28-year-old Norwegian. It was thus no surprise that Rosted had to find a new club this January, despite everything he had done for the club.
What can Toronto expect from Rosted?
Rosted is moving to Toronto with plenty of experience from Europe. At 28 years old, he has five caps for the national team to his name, and he’s played big games for both Gent and Brøndby. He started five of Brøndby’s six Europa League group stage matches in the 2021/2022 season and performed well individually although the team struggled.
He was a popular figure at Brøndby, both within the squad and among fans. Although never captain of the club, there was never any doubt that he was one of the leaders on the side. The young players looked at him in intense moments, and he never backed down from a fight. Always fighting hard and taking responsibility when needed, it was understandable why his teammates appreciated him. However, Rosted is also an entertaining character. During his time with Brøndby he frequently appeared in funny videos on the club’s social media channels, and he’s clearly the kind of person that spreads positive emotions around him.
On the pitch, he is physically strong. Standing 6’2, he is great in the air, something he’s using to his advantage at both ends of the field. He’s a dangerous player on offensive set pieces and has a good scoring average for a central defender.
He’s furthermore technically strong and capable of linking up with the goalkeeper as the first player in the buildup. He also uses his technical abilities to relive teammates under pressure and distributes the ball at a high level. His passing accuracy is continuously around 85 % with almost 40 % of his passes going forward. He’s also not afraid of going deep when the opportunity arises, and sports a 45 % accuracy on passes going 32 meter or more. For the same reason, he can create chances for his teammates, especially when playing with fast strikers.
Defensively, Rosted is also a good player. His positioning is at a high level, and he rarely make mistakes. He wins most of his duels, both in the air and on the ground, and he is difficult to dribble past for the opponents.
As for weaknesses, he has been known for getting booked a bit too often. At Brøndby, he was booked roughly every fourth game, which did cause some frustration on the sideline. On top of this, he isn’t the fastest player, especially not on the first meters. If playing in a system with high and aggressive pressure, he tends to struggle as that leaves a lot of space behind him for quick strikers. He is best when defending deeper on the pitch, where his size gives him bigger advantages.
Turning 29 in the summer, Rosted is at his peak, and he joins Toronto highly motivated. He’s seen former teammates from Brøndby Hany Mukhtar and Mikael Uhre move to MLS and dominate, and now it’s his turn. Although not the same kind of star as Mukhtar, Uhre and Maxsø, Rosted remains a great defender with great abilities and high motivation, and he should perform well in the MLS.