TUKWILA, Wash. – Like any good playmaker, Mauro Rosales knows where his bread is buttered.
So it shouldn’t be entirely surprising when he deflects the attention that comes with the three assists he picked up in the Seattle Sounders’ 6-2 romp of Chivas USA on Saturday.
“I think they have all the credit,” Rosales (above, left) said of the Sounders’ forwards on Monday at training. “Creating chances is easier than the job they have to do. They have excellent skill to score. We just have to put the ball in the place that they are, they do the rest.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chivas USA 2, Seattle 6
“We don’t have the same credit as them, but they deserve to be the guys that take everything because they are doing an excellent job. It’s not an easy thing to score goals. They are scoring goals like it’s nothing.”
Whether he wants the credit or not, Rosales is a big part of why the Sounders are back on pace with the league-leading scoring total of a year ago. The Argentine now leads MLS with 13 assists, 11 of which have come in his past 11 games. During Seattle’s current 5-1-1 run, Rosales has contributed nine assists and the Sounders have scored 19 goals.
By design or not, he also seems to understand that one key to his success is keeping both of the team’s primary scorers happy. After setting up five of Eddie Johnson’s 11 goals, Rosales has now picked up assists on each of Fredy Montero’s last four tallies.
“He’s good at what he does for sure,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “There are other people involved when you make those plays, but with those final passes, he found Fredy a couple times and, in other games, he’s found Eddie with crosses on timely runs. So he’s done a good job of making the good decision of finding the guy who’s the most open at the time and feeding them.”
This all comes after a somewhat shaky start to his 2012 season, his first since being rewarded with a Designated Player contract during the offseason. Rosales suffered a knee injury in Seattle’s league opener, missed four games as a result and didn’t quite look like his old self as he stumbled out of the gate with just a goal and two assists in the Sounders’ first 13 games.
Now fully healthy, he’s back to the level that saw him become a dark-horse MVP candidate before his 2011 was cut short due to injury.
“I think his number on the jersey means a lot,” Montero said. “On every team, he’s a No. 10. He likes to do that. We just try to score every single ball he’s playing to us.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.