The Seattle Sounders bid goodbye to a fan favorite on Wednesday when they shipped Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA, but the veteran playmaker will leave the Emerald City with only fond memories as he prepares for a new challenge with Chivas USA.
"I would have loved to have retired in Seattle because they took great care of me and I'll always have them all, the city, the community and all the people involved with the team, in my heart," Rosales told FutbolMLS.com. "Sometimes one's desires are not the same as the club's in terms of soccer. Now I'm about to turn 33 years old and I feel they're aspiring to have more young talent rather than experience."
Rosales will certainly have a lot on his plate as he looks to bring not only veteran leadership, but consistent service to a team that has struggled mightily on the field recently. The Goats have posted a combined 13-38-17 record in the last two years, good for back-to-back last place finishes in the Western Conference, and scored 54 goals, the fewest of any MLS team in that time period.
Despite the seemingly immense challenge ahead of him and Chivas, though, the player likes what he's seen from the club recently, and hopes that can turn into the team's first playoff berth since 2009.
"The main objective is to qualify for the playoffs and make a competitive team," he said. "I think the second part of last season, Chivas showed much growth and a better game. Now I have to deliver mine, my desire, my effort, help with assists and generate play for the rest of the team to do well, that's my main desire and would love for it to happen. The predisposition is to have a great tournament."
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The 33-year-old also admitted there were multiple MLS teams negotiating with the Sounders for his services, but that Chivas USA ultimately presented the best deal for his previous employers.
The trade for Rosales is the biggest splash so far that the Southern California club has made in an offseason overhaul that's seen them part ways with 12 players. They also added up-and-coming defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste in a trade with Portland one day after acquiring Rosales.
"There was a very large growth [last season] and there are people eager to work," Rosales said of his new team's ambitions. "Chivas wants to grow and change the image they have had in recent seasons. If by being part of that process, you can change or improve, it would be very nice. We aim to show that Chivas is up to what MLS wants and progress as a team and as a franchise."
Emmanuel Quispe contributed to the reporting on this article from Buenos Aires, Argentina.