Not too many people had heard of Mauro Rosales when it was announced the Seattle Sounders had signed the former River Plate, Ajax and Newell's Old Boys midfielder. After posting five goals and 13 assists in his first MLS season, though, that's clearly no longer the case as he was named Major League Soccer's Newcomer of the Year.
"This is an award I share with my teammates because without them we could not be so successful," Rosales in a club release. "It's been a great season and I am honored by this vote of the media, as well as players and executives of other clubs. I would like thank everyone in the Sounders family-my fellow players, the coaches, staff and, of course, the fans."
This is the second individual award a Sounders play has won this offseason, with Kasey Keller being named the Goalkeeper of the Year earlier in the day. It is also the second time in three years that a Sounders player has been named top newcomer, with Fredy Montero winning the award in 2009.
If all goes well, this will be just the first of some positive news for Rosales and the Sounders. Since the end of the season, Rosales has been saying he and the team were very close on a contract extension and he had said that he was waiting to go home to Argentina to finalize the deal.
The Sounders clearly benefited from Rosales' veteran leadership and playmaking abilities. The team was 13-3-6 in his 22 starts and went 10-1-2 in matches in which he either scored or assisted.