CARSON, Calif. – The image of star midfielder Mauro Rosales being taken off the field on a stretcher, his hands covering his forlorn face, was exactly what Sounders FC had hoped to avoid Saturday.
Having already clinched the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs, escaping injury was one of Seattle’s top priorities in its regular-season finale against Chivas USA. Those plans didn’t last five minutes into a 3-1 road win at The Home Depot Center as Rosales, a league MVP candidate with a team-high 13 assists, was forced to leave the game early with a right-knee injury.
The extent of the damage wasn’t immediately known, but preliminary indications were the injury wasn’t as bad as when Rosales sprained the same knee in a Sept. 17 game against D.C. United and missed three weeks.
The Sounders (18-7-9) were able to recover from the loss of their midfield maestro and took the lead for good in the 53rd minute when Chivas’ Andrew Boyens accidentally knocked the ball into his own net..
Seattle got goals from Alvaro Fernandez in the 68th minute and Sammy Ochoa in the 73rd.