Going by that timeframe, the soonest Rosales would be ready is the Oct. 1 match at the New England Revolution. More likely, the Sounders will be hoping to have Rosales back in time for the Oct. 4 U.S. Open Cup final against the Chicago Fire. Rosales will miss at least three matches, two of which are CONCACAF Champions League games.
Rosales was in the midst of a MVP-caliber season, registering five goals and 12 assists in MLS play. The Sounders have gone 12-3-6 in games he's started, and just 2-3-3 in their other games.
In his place, the Sounders will most likely use some combination of Lamar Neagle, Erik Friberg, Roger Levesque and Pat Noonan. All four of those players have seen time as wide midfielders, but none of them have come close to duplicating Rosales' playmaking abilities.
For more on Rosales' injury and how the Sounders will deal with it, be sure to check out Sounder at Heart.
Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales was seen at Monday's training session walking around without crutches and only with a heavy wrap around his injured knee. Despite this promising sign, though, it still unknown when he might be ready to play again.
The Sounders have apparently been working under the assumption that Rosales will at least miss Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Herediano and Saturday's Cascadia Cup match at the Vancouver Whitecaps. They are crossing their fingers that Rosales will be ready in time for the Oct. 4 U.S. Open Cup final against the Chicago Fire. That would mean missing four games -- two CCL and two MLS -- and an absence of less than three weeks.
Rosales hurt his knee in Saturday's 3-0 win over DC United. In that game, he picked up two assists and help set up the other goal. He now has 12 assists on the year, second most in MLS.
Seattle Sounders MVP candidate Mauro Rosales has sprained his MCL, but the exact severity of the injury will not be known until he undergoes an MRI on Monday. Rosales was hurt on a Daniel Woolard tackle late in the Sounders' 3-0 win over DC United on Saturday.
"I was very frustrated with this because there was nothing to lose, nothing to win," Rosales said. "The knee is usually a bad thing. If it's something like an ankle it's no problem, but the knee, I'm really worried about what's going to happen."
If Rosales' worst fears are realized it would obviously be a blow for the Sounders. Prior to his injury on Saturday, Rosales had assisted on two goals and help set up the Sounders third in their 3-0 win over DC United. His 12 assists are the second most in the league and set a Sounders team record. The Sounders have gone 12-3-6 in the matches Rosales has started, while going 2-3-3 in games he did not start.
A limited absence would probably not be the end of the world for the Sounders, whose chances of catching the Los Angeles Galaxy for the Supporters' Shield were already thin. The most likely scenario would probably involve Lamar Neagle moving from Alvaro Fernandez's primary backup at left mid to starting right midfielder. Other possible replacement for Rosales include Erik Friberg or Brad Evans -- assuming both can remain healthy.
None of those options would come close to replacing Rosales' playmaking ability. While Neagle has been very good in relatively limited minutes, it has largely been his ability to get on the end of Rosales' passes than his ability to create for others that has made him effective. Friberg would offer an upgrade defensively and has some shown signs of having similar passing abilities, but has not produced at anywhere near Rosales' level.
Toward the end of what should have been a feel-good 3-0 win for the Seattle Sounders over DC United, Mauro Rosales went down with an injury and did not return. After the game Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said it was a MCL sprain, a report the team did not officially confirm. Schmid said that Rosales would miss at least Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Herediano. Regardless of the injury's seriousness, Schmid was not happy with the way it happened:
"We have a talented player in this league: He’s a good player, a player who fans want to come out and watch him play, and then we let people – thugs – hit him and we don’t protect him enough, and I think that’s something that’s got to happen with the referees. So I’m very disappointed. The last game before this one, the first three times he touched the ball he got fouled and nothing got called. Today early on he got dumped quite a few times. A lot of times he’s not getting calls. I’d like to see the referee – Kevin Stott – stand there and let Brandon McDonald run into his back and see if he could stay on his feet. I’m very disappointed in that."
Up until his injury, Rosales had been enjoying another stellar game. He assisted on two goals. He now has 12 on the season, just one fewer than league-leader Brad Davis.