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U.S. Open Cup Final: Sounders Hope To Have Mauro Rosales Fit For Duty

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Mauro Rosales has not played a game since spraining his MCL late in a game against DC United on Sept. 17. The Sounders hope he'll be back by Tuesday. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Mauro Rosales has not played a game since spraining his MCL late in a game against DC United on Sept. 17. The Sounders hope he'll be back by Tuesday. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Mauro Rosales has joined the Seattle Sounders in New England and coach Sigi Schmid said he hopes to have his MVP candidate midfielder ready in time to play against the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup final next Tuesday. Rosales has been out since Sept. 17 with a strained MCL. He has so far missed just one MLS game, but has also missed a pair of CONCACAF Champions League matches.

Prior to suffering his injury during the closing minutes of the Sounders' 3-0 win over DC United, Rosales was enjoying a banner year. He has scored five goals and has 12 assists and the Sounders have gone 12-3-6 in the MLS games he's started.

When Rosales was originally hurt, the team marked the Open Cup final as the date by which they hoped to have him back. The decision to fly him, as well as the rest of the Sounders, out to New England was done in an attempt to get him some practice time prior to Tuesday's game. The Sounders have not been home since leaving for Guatemala on Sunday.

Rosales met the team in New England on Wednesday, but he had not been able to be with the full team since last Thursday, the day before they left to play the Vancouver Whitecaps. He has been training in a smaller group of mostly injured players at Starfire Sports Complex since then.

"Sometimes a guy's at a stage where he can do part of training, but maybe not all of it," Schmid said in reference to why the Sounders chose to fly the entire team to New England. "If he's back in Seattle and the whole team's gone, he really can't take part in any part of training per se, it's a lot of individual work.

"We felt that some players were at a stage where they could benefit from being part of the group setting."