TUKWILA, Wash. – If he’s called upon, Mauro Rosales will be ready to start Saturday against Chivas USA (10:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
Seattle’s midfield maestro has been brought back slowly from a sprained MCL in his right knee, but managed a substitute’s appearance against San Jose last weekend. Five days removed from that match, Rosales confirmed on Thursday that prepared to go against the Goats.
“He knows I’m ready to try to start,” Rosales said of coach Sigi Schmid. “He’s the coach and he is going to take the decision if he needs me to start or [play] just 45 minutes or 20 minutes.”
From a team-wide perspective, Seattle come into the final regular-season game generally healthy, but the team’s biggest concern is the health of Rosales.
With the playoff format calling for three matches to be played in quick succession, Schmid may use the Chivas match to gauge Rosales’ fitness. The Argentine reported pain in the knee to the Seattle Times a day after the San Jose match and speculated that he may need to increase his warm-up regimen.
“[I] still have it,” Rosales said of the pain. “Obviously it’s less than one week ago, and it’s getting better day by day.
“Looking forward, I still have 10 days to recover before the first game of the playoffs,” Rosales added. “This is the game where I want to be 100 percent.”
Without question, having a 90-minutes fit Rosales would be a boon for Seattle – with his creativity and ability to hold the ball even 60 minutes per game in the playoffs would be welcome by Schmid, who’s monitoring the Argentine’s recovery.
“His substitute appearance [vs. San Jose] went well and our decision was just not to push it,” Schmid said, explaining that Rosales practiced hard on Monday and Tuesday before yesterday’s rest day. “He’s ready to go for Saturday.”
Seattle’s other injury concern, Jeff Parke, also feels ready to go against Chivas USA. Parke, who played 67 minutes against Mexico’s Monterrey in a midweek CONCACAF Champions League loss, has been recovering from a concussion that had him feeling woozy at times.
“It takes a little time,” Parke said of the recovery process. “When you think you’re doing alright and then you actually get better, you look back on the time when you thought were alright and you probably weren’t.
“I was definitely in a cloud for a little bit,” Parke added. “It’s different when you get out there and moving around and the blood starts flowing. You start feeling a little light-headed, so you have to be careful.”
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.