SEATTLE – There was great anticipation surrounding the possible return of MLS MVP candidate Mauro Rosales in the US Open Cup final on Tuesday night, but he was nowhere to be found when the lineups were distributed.
Instead, the Seattle Sounders star settled for a celebration with his teammates after the match, a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire that gave the Sounders their third consecutive USOC crown.
Rosales, who suffered an MCL tear on Sept. 17, was ruled out of the lineup on Monday.
“I really wanted to be in this game and I did everything possible to see if I could recover,” Rosales told MLSsoccer.com after the match amid the postgame celebrations. “But the pain was too much still and I need to wait for the upcoming days to recover totally.
“[Monday] I tried a few things and I knew I wasn’t going to be 100 percent. It wasn’t going to be good for the team. In these games you need 100 percent from all the players. But we have a real good roster and we have confidence in every player here.”
The initial prognosis for recovery called for two to four weeks. Tuesday marked the 17th day on the shelf for one of the league’s revelations this season, who has scored five goals and added 12 assists in league play.
“I think next week I will already be able to play,” he said.
Midfielder Álvaro Fernández, who took a knock to the head in the first half and was forced to come at halftime due to concussion symptoms, was also seen on the field with his son in his arms, participating in all the postgame festivities.
“That was a strong blow in the first half,” he said. “I was a bit dizzy and they did some tests and the truth is, I wasn’t able to continue. It’s a pity I wasn’t able to play but the important thing is that I’m OK. … Right now I feel good. Happy to enjoy this party.”
The 2010 World Cup veteran complimented the Chicago Fire for playing “an intelligent game,” but lauded his own side for another trophy after a 2-0 triumph.
“We’re really strong,” Fernández said. “It’s a tight group. We’re all rowing in the same direction and we leave everything on the field.”