TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle’s latest signing, Argentine playmaker Mauro Rosales, is eager to make an impression in Seattle. The midfield maestro, who has spent time with Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys, Dutch giants Ajax and, most recently, Argentine powerhouse River Plate, addressed a group of reporters in English after training on Tuesday. This is the transcript from that conversation.
Question: There have been a lot of Argentine players over the years in Major League Soccer. How did you find out about the league and how did you make the decision to join?
Rosales: It was not difficult to have a decision because I was watching MLS soccer and it’s great. It is growing up year by year. When I had the chance to come to as big a team as the Seattle Sounders, I had no doubt this was a great opportunity to come here. I am enjoying this moment and will try to do my best here.
Question: For the fans who haven’t seen you play extensively, how would you describe the way you play and what is your favorite position?
Rosales: My favorite position is in the right side or the middle, but I can play many positions in forward. [I am] always attacking. I am 30 years old, I have a lot of teams in my career and good moments. This is new, Seattle Sounders. I will try to do everything that’s possible for me to have a great team here and could become champion, if possible, because this team is working hard to do that.
Question: It was reported that you were going to join a team in the Mexican league in January but that didn’t work out. Can you take us through that?
Rosales: I already signed in September in 2010. [The] Mexican team, I joined them in October to November. I was training there. I made the preseason, but they bought like 10 players from outside, foreign players, and have just five places to take into the team.
I was the last one to come and they said I have to wait until June to play. I didn't want to wait until June—I just want to play now. I said to them, “I want to play. If it's not now, I go. I want to leave the team.” This is what happened. Then I had this chance and I took it immediately.
[inline_node:331760]Question: Some people talked about a failed physical. Was it a matter of you just not being in good enough shape?
Rosales: This was the excuse they gave because they [did not] put me into the team. It was difficult to say that because I came into the team. It was in every paper and everything, I was coming from Argentina and my career—I was with the national team—and [team officials] don't have anything to say on why I cannot be in the team.
Then they say I was [injured] or something. They apologized to me, but the mistake was big, you know? When they told it like that, they don't know that many people hear these kind of things. They make this mistake and were sorry. If I can do something, I would do my best to repair what they did. They said sorry, but it was already done.
Question: What do you notice about the quality and style of MLS, both from training here and the little bit [of playing time] you got in New York?
Rosales: What I say before, it's great how you feel it watching all the teams. They are working very hard, they have many good players. They have fantastic atmosphere, especially Seattle Sounders. Great teams, great players. There are coming a lot of good players to this league and it's growing up very fast.
Question: Here your home pitch is an artificial surface. Is that a problem in any way?
Rosales: No, no, it's not a problem. I will try to do my best in this team because I like so much to be here in this team. The opportunity that Seattle Sounders give to me is great. I have to say thank you to everybody. I have to say thank you to the players to join me very fast to the group, to all the staff and the coach. They give me everything to feel comfortable. This is great. The direction is great, too. They are doing the best for me. Now I just have to play.
Question: What do you think about wearing the No. 10? Sometimes some expectations come with that number.
Rosales: Yeah, the No. 7 is what I use a lot, it was with James Riley. If I have to take a number, it was like 38 or something like that. This was available and they give to me. It's not important about the No. 10. I played the last 10 years with 7 and when I came here it was already with Riley, and I didn't have anything to say to Riley. That is OK.
Question: Talk about the decision to leave Argentina, to leave River Plate.
Rosales: I finished [my] contract. I was there for three years and had a good time. I become champion. [Now] I want to change air. I wanted to go to somewhere else. There was the opportunity to go to Mexico—I like a lot also the league from Mexico. I couldn't play there because of this problem that I had, but this is also a great league that I want to enjoy it.
Question: How has the adjustment off the field been to just living in Seattle and America?
Rosales: Perfect. What I said before, I'm enjoying to be here. Seattle is a great city. The cold weather, no, and the rain. After that, this is not any problem for me.