Whether Seattle Sounders FC will be able to call upon star midfielder Mauro Rosales for Sunday’s Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg is still up in the air, but the LA Galaxy are prepared, should the Argentine be ready to play.
In his first year with Seattle, the Argentine has provided an important cog in the midfield for Seattle either closer to goal or on the flanks, tallying an impressive 13 assists on the year. He has also had great success against the Galaxy this season, tallying three assists in three appearances against LA this season—all three coming in Seattle’s two victories at CenturyLink Field when the Sounders outscored LA a combined 6-0 in the two matches.
However, the Argentine’s productivity tailed off at the end of the season with the Argentine failing to notch an assist since Seattle’s Aug. 25 win over Chivas before picking up a right hamstring strain in the Western Conference Semifinal First Leg against Real Salt Lake.
Should Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid choose to throw on Rosales as the Sounders look to overcome a three goal deficit against LA, the Galaxy are keenly aware that they must be wary of the Argentine.
“Rosales has been out for a few weeks, so we’ll see how he does when he comes back in, but he’s a good player, he’s an important player for them,” said midfielder David Beckham. “They like to lump balls forward, get players in the box and cross balls because a lot of their goals have come from crosses and headers this year. I think we have…four players [in the back] playing very well. [Omar Gonzalez and Tommy Meyer] have been playing well and it’s up to us to overcome what they throw at us.”
One of the players, who will likely be tasked with defending the Argentine will be LA left back Todd Dunivant, who admits he faces a stiff test if Rosales plays on Sunday.
“Rosales is as good as it gets in this league in terms of wide players and getting service in the box,” said Dunivant. “He’s got double digit assists and he’s really connected well with especially Eddie Johnson this year, but he’s connected well with Montero too. He’s kind of the engine that keeps them going and missing them as hurt them a lot.”