Score three goals and shut out a likely playoff team and you should feel pretty good. Unfortunately for the Seattle Sounders, their 3-0 win over DC United was just about ruined when Mauro Rosales went down with an injury late. After the game, it was revealed Rosales sprained MCL and that he would at least miss Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Herediano.
The true extent of the injury will not be known until Monday when Rosales undergoes an MRI. But even if it's a mild sprain, this is still a frustrating situation. The injury occurred after the result had essentially been decided. It was also just the final time Rosales had been taken down in a match in which playing physical was clearly part of the game plan. Luckily for United, referee Kevin Stott never seemed particularly interested in tamping down the physicality, as he issued just three yellow cards and just one in the second half.
But other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Well, it was pretty awesome, quite frankly. As the Sounders have been able to do much of this season, they never let the physical defending of United get to them, something that paid particular dividends on their first goal.
Mike Fucito was able to fight off a challenge and beat Brandon McDonald to clever flick from Rosales. After keeping his feet, Fucito was 1-on-1 with goalkeeper Joe Willis. Fucito then did what he does just about as good as anyone and beat Willis to the far post.
Rosales also assisted on the first of Alvaro Fernandez's two goals. Again sending his teammate 1-on-1 with Willis. Rosales even had a hand in Fernandez's second goal, sending in the cross that Fredy Montero headed onto goal. Fernandez was able to collect the rebound and fire it past Willis.
Coming off the loss to Real Salt Lake, it was a victory the Sounders needed if only to regain their swagger. Only some loose play after going up 3-0 made the statistics look a little more even than they really were, as the Sounders played as complete a game as they have all year.
The Sounders remain seven points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy, who beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, and three points ahead of RSL. The Sounders are now five points clear of FC Dallas, who fell into fourth in the West after their loss to RSL.
With 51 points, the Sounders also set a new franchise record. That it comes in Game 29 is also significant, as the Sounders became the 26th team since 2000 (when tiebreakers were abolished) to hit that plateau in 30 games or less.