TUKWILA, Wash. — If the Seattle Sounders are to overcome their 3-0 deficit from the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, they’ll probably have to do it without a Willis Reed moment from Mauro Rosales. According to Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, the Argentine midfielder is only an “outside shot” to play against Real Salt Lake Wednesday night (10 pm ET; ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, TSN2).
“He worked with the ball a little bit individually today, so we’ll see,” Schmid said after Monday’s training session. “I still think it’s more of an outside shot, but at least it’s a shot.”
Rosales led the Sounders with 13 assists in league play and got some buzz as a possible MVP candidate before he was felled by two challenges late in the season. He initially sprained the MCL on September 17 against D.C. United after a challenge from Daniel Woolard in the later stages of the match.
In his second game back from the injury – Seattle’s regular-season finale – Rosales again went down via a yellow-card tackle from Chivas USA midfielder Ben Zemanski.
In Rosales’ absence, Lamar Neagle started and went 60 minutes against Real Salt Lake, eventually making way for Erik Friberg in the last half hour. Seattle managed no shots on goal for the night and struggled to keep possession against RSL.
Seattle will need to win Wednesday night’s game by three goals to force an overtime period, or by four goals to advance outright.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.