When Sounders FC signed Mauro Rosales just before the 2011 season, the club knew it was getting a difference-maker and tremendous offensive catalyst.
On Saturday, he entered his name into the club’s record books when he assisted on Eddie Johnson’s 25th minute goal. It was his 34th helper in Rave Green, matching the club record set by Fredy Montero.
“It’s fantastic. It’s the reason I work every day, to be part of the team, to be helpful all the time,” Rosales beamed after the 1-1 road draw with the Galaxy. “To be part of the history of the club is the reason I am here.”
Rosales has had a keen way of making his assists count, too, rewarding the confidence the club put in him. 14 of his 34 have been game-winners and he leads the league with five of those assists this season.
Through the course of his 80 matches, he has developed partnerships with several of his teammates and was a natural selection for the club’s captain after Kasey Keller retired in 2011. 12 different players have been the recipients of his assists, but no partnership has been more potent for the Sounders than the understanding he's developed with Johnson, with ten of his assists setting up goals for the American forward.
It was only fitting that his record-tying assist came when his corner kick found Johnson’s head, then the back of the net.
“Mauro’s a great player and he’s done a great job here even before I was here. I know he’s going to put the ball in a great area,” said Johnson. “As a new player, you want to gel and form partnerships and relationships when you’re on the field. That’s something that I did with him last year.”
His set-piece delivery has been a vital element of Seattle’s attack over the last three seasons. Those plays account for much of the reason that 29 of his 34 assists have been first assists.
“It’s one of the things that makes us a dangerous team – that we can score on those types of situations,” Head Coach Sigi Schmid said.
Rosales has also come up big in big moments. Seattle is 24-2-8 all-time in matches that he nabs a goal or assist and that has been emphasized of late.
Since July 28, Sounders FC has gone an astonishing 8-1-1. Over that stretch, Rosales has been the instigator to Seattle’s success, posting one goal and five assists. That stretch has lifted Seattle to the top of the Western Conference at 15-8-5, putting it in the driver’s seat for the race to the Supporters’ Shield.
Rosales and the team have ridden that surge to the top, but are hardly content with just reaching the top, striving still for more.
“I’m happy, but I want to keep helping the team and I will always be looking for the success of the team, the club and the organization that has been very good in the last five years,” Rosales said. “I enjoy so much being here and I’m very proud to be part of this club.”