ANDY Rose has played against stars and earned his stripes in the United States. But the experience of living the American Dream with the Seattle Sounders will be nothing compared to the euphoria of lifting the Scottish Cup for the Motherwell midfielder this Saturday.

The Australian spent six years on the other side of the Atlantic, first of all with Seattle Wolves and then Ventura County Fusion. However, it was his three years at Seattle Sounders that were the most memorable for the 28-year-old over the course of his 90 odd games.

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As well as appearing in two US Open Cup finals – the top club competition in the USA – Rose went head to head with football royalty in the form of David Beckham, Thierry Henry and even Steven Gerrard during his stint at LA Galaxy. Remember him? Not to mention Hollywood A-Lister “soccer” fanatics such as Drew Carey and Will Ferrell.

The experience was a deeply satisfying one for the man who swapped Seattle for Strathclyde Park. Now a huge date with destiny is on the horizon and Rose is relishing the prospect of making history with Motherwell.

“It is a little bit different,” explained Rose, who is married to the daughter of Bob Bradley, the US coach. “The US Open Cup final, which is the equivalent of the Scottish Cup, is drawn out of a hat as to who gets to host the match. I played away in 2012 away to Kansas City and we lost that one on penalties. I then played again in 2014 we played away in Philadelphia and won 3-1 in extra-time.

“That was much more fun to be part of but any time you get to play in a big game it is a privilege. The week running up is so much fun although it is a little bit different to be able to play at the national stadium, that gives you that bit of extra buzz.

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“Any time LA Galaxy came up to play against us with David Beckham, Landon Donovan, those sort of superstars, they [Carey etc] were always there. I remember a few times after winning games they would come down to the changing rooms. Before games, they wished us well.

“With the family ties, it is really exciting to see how much it has grown. What LA have been able to do this season has been fantastic. Through 10 games, they’re right up there at the top of the table. There is a massive buzz when you bring names like Will Ferrell in. He has always been a massive fan.”

Brandon Parade is a long way from Tinseltown, but bringing the cup to Lanarkshire would be a triumph over adversity story even a Hollywood script writer would

struggle with. After all, this was a club that only a few years ago was almost bought over by an Argentinian consortium, dodged relegation on a play-off, and again only avoided the drop in the closing days of last season.

This campaign has been a breath of fresh air in comparison. League safety secured and a top-six finish only narrowly missed out on, Saturday will be Motherwell’s fifth visit to the national stadium in what will be their second cup final. It’s box office stuff, and 12,700 supporters have all bought a ticket hoping that the 27-year wait for a trophy is finally at an end.

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“It’s great to see the town get behind us,” said Rose. “Craig Tanner and I went out and made an appearance in the town centre the other day. The shops were dressed up for us. To feel that support and to really give the fans something like this has been a great feeling.

“Growing up in England, watching the FA Cup was massive. I have also been lucky enough to play in a couple of cup finals out in the States. I won one and lost one and, with us losing the League Cup final, I am looking to make it two and two. I am very excited about this one.

“In this country, when you play against Celtic or Rangers, inevitably you are going to be the underdog. We understand that. It’s fine. We are happy in that role. They will have a bit more of the crowd than we will but we have experienced that already this season and we’re well aware of what that means. We’re really excited.”

Rose has been out in recent weeks with a broken collarbone, but insists he’ll be ready to start if required. “I have been trying to get back from this injury and make sure I am focused on the cup final,” added the Australian who, along with fellow midfielder Liam Grimshaw, last night signed new deals with the Fir Park club until the end of next season.

Both players arrived last summer and have gone on to become regulars in Stephen Robinson’s side. “Both have been key figures in the squad this campaign, and we’re glad they’re staying with us,” said Robinson