Seattle Sounders' Mauro Rosales returning to form with game-winning assist: "It felt like always"

SEATTLE — Whether Mauro Rosales is scoring himself or setting up others, his performance is often judged on how often he’s involved in Seattle Sounders goals.

The last couple months have been tough. The midfielder had gone eight matches and 604 minutes without a goal or an assist and there seemed to be some weight hanging on his shoulders.

His assist on the game-winning goal against Chivas USA on Saturday lightened the load.

“Obviously he always wants to be involved in goals and assists and it’s good for him to get an assist today and get off that mark,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said during his postgame press conference. “But I thought he got us into some good positions. He laid some good balls off. He made some final passes for us today, and that was important.”

None were bigger than his assist, a play that he also helped start. After taking one quick controlling touch near the midfield stripe, Rosales pushed the ball forward to Obafemi Martins and continued his run into the penalty area. Although Martins’ pass back seemed to wrong foot Rosales, the Argentine managed to get enough of his trailing left foot on the ball to make sure it got to a wide open Lamar Neagle, who buried his shot.

It was the kind of play that had become almost commonplace during his two years in MLS, when Rosales was unquestionably the Sounders’ offensive metronome. Even as others struggled, a healthy Rosales translated to about .78 goals and assists per 90 minutes. That production was reasonably well spread out too, as he had never gone more than four appearances without getting on the scoresheet and had only made three consecutive starts without doing so on four separate occasions.

Despite the production struggles, Rosales insisted his performance against Chivas USA was not so different than previous ones.

“It felt like always,” he said. “The team was playing with confidence. It was a positive result. everyone is happy now.”