Despite making progress on his reinjured right knee, Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales will not travel to Real Salt Lake for the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals at Real Salt Lake. Rosales has been dealing with his knee injury since suffering it on Sept. 17 and has played about 30 minutes since then.
Rosales' absence likely means the Sounders will deploy a wide midfield pairing of Alvaro Fernandez, who recently received a call-up to the Uruguay national team, and Lamar Neagle. Fernandez and Neagle have combined for 14 goals and two assists during MLS play and 16 goals and seven assists in all competitions. The other possibility, if the Sounders go with a more defensive pairing, is for either Erik Friberg or Brad Evans to start in one of the wide positions.
It is worth noting that the last time the Sounders visited Rio Tinto Stadium, Rosales was not available in that match, either. The Sounders won 2-1, but were helped by a red card to Jamison Olave. Neagle scored his first MLS goal in that game.