Happy birthday to Australian soccer player Alex Brosque (1983-).
Brosque is about to embark on a final quest for silverware as the Sydney FC great slips on the boots for one last season. The respected Sky Blues skipper regains the armband for 2018-19 ahead of Sydney FC's season opener away to Adelaide United next Friday. The 35-year-old veteran, who is likely to start on the bench more often this season, was thrown on as a 73rd-minute substitute during Sydney FCs 3-0 semifinal win over Western Sydney. Brosque, who has won 21 Socceroos caps, was all but assured to retire at the end of last season but recommitted to the club as it transitions to new coach Steve Corica after the Graham Arnold era. Born in Sydney in 1983 to Uruguayan parents, Brosque honed his skills as part of Westfield Sports High and the Australian Institute of Sport. He made his National Soccer League debut with Marconi Stallions at age 18 and after three seasons left for Dutch giants Feyenoord in 2004 and spent a season on loan at Belgian side Westerlo. But the teen striker struggled to find his feet and returned to Australia to play with Brisbane Roar in the inaugural 2005-06 A-League season. After Brosque tied for the golden boot, reigning champion Sydney FC lured him back to his home city. In his first Sky Blues stint, Brosque won three successive club player of the year awards — his final coming in 2009-10 when Sydney FC snagged the premiership/championship double. Two seasons apiece for Japan’s Shimizu and UAE side Al Ain followed before he returned to his home club and was appointed captain. He oversaw Sydney FC’s 2015 grand final berth — interrupted by a seventh-place blip in 2015-16 — and then its path to becoming the most dominant force in Australian football, losing just five league games in two seasons.