But it's clear that Royer won his minutes. You can go through every team in every sport. Playing a game here and there over a starter doesn't mean a whole lot. You give me a sport and a team and I'll give you countless examples of the exact same thing.
If Etienne is good enough and doing what they want, he's going to get his minutes. Something I am big time against is giving guys minutes with the hope that they'll somehow improve. It's a dangerous message to send the team.
First, Marsch doesn't rotate his starters, only when he does a complete lineup switch like he did for a couple of games around the Open Cup.
Second, Grella had definitely won the job over Royer. Look for example at the six games Grella played in after he came back from injury and before he went out again.
May 6 - First game back, 14 min sub appearance
May 14 - Subbed in at halftime (how often does Marsch do that?)
May 19 - Start (Marsch played his normal starters like BWP & Kljestan)
May 27 - Start (again, an first team lineup)
June 3 - Start (first team lineup)
June 14 - Start in the Open Cup (first lineup)
Are you telling me that Marsch didn't see Grella as a starter at this point? Four starts in a row, all first team lineups. Royer started most of those games as well, but twice (May 19 v TFC & June 14 v City) over that span Marsch started Grella over him. Royer was healthy over that time period (he had starts before and after those games and he came in as a sub in both) and they were first team lineups (BWP, Kljestan, Adams, etc.).
So yea, Royer was in the mix, but not necessarily ahead of Grella. That's why the "win the job in training" argument doesn't always work with Marsch. He sees things in practice that don't always translate to games. Is it because he has favorites? Or our defense plays a certain way in practice that make guys like Muyl and Grella look great, but opposing defense play those two differently? I have no idea, but whatever happened in training that lead Marsch to start Grella over Royer didn't pan out in games, as Royer had 3 goals in those matches and Mike 0.