SEATTLE – Captain, leader, hero. Big roles to fill but ones that Mauro Rosales proved again more than capable of, his lone goal giving Seattle the win against the visiting Philadelphia Union 1-0.
After assisting on every other Seattle scoring opportunity during the match, Rosales’ effort paid off big in the 63’ when he caught Union keeper Zac MacMath way off his line and fired a diagonal shot from twenty yards out, simply burying the ball in the back of the net.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid fielded a significantly altered line up from the team that defeated the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, choosing to rest Brad Evans and keeping Eddie Johnson and Zach Scott as reserves. Midfielder Andy Rose got his first MLS start and Alex Caskey filled out the rest of midfield. Rose went in for several rough challenges, picking up a yellow in the 18’ which Schmid attributed to nerves. “Andy Rose got a little excited and had a few tackles there. We were probably a little lucky that the referee also kept his composure and was able to keep Andy on the field. I thought he settled down in the second half.”
Philadelphia are loitering in the basement of the Eastern Conference standings and were forced to play today without the direction of coach Peter Nowak after the MLS extended his suspension to two games. The MLS handed down the ban following the Union’s game against Chivas USA when Nowak entered the field during an altercation between Philadelphia defender Gabriel Farfan and James Riley after a dangerous tackle. Farfan also received a three game suspension, one for the red card he received during the match and an additional two for the extreme reckless nature of the challenge.
Neither side looked particularly dangerous in the first half, but the Sounders did put the squeeze on Philadelphia by relegating them to their own half and out shooting them seven to one. Seattle keeper Bryan Meredith also made his first MLS start but was never fully tested by the Union’s weak offensive challenge.
Caskey made the most of his starting role, finding space in the middle and taking a terrific shot in the 26’ that only just missed and went outside the far post. He had another opportunity in the 43’ ripping one from twenty five yards out but MacMath was able to punch the ball away.
Hat-trick hero David Estrada played up front alongside Fredy Montero, instead of in his recent midfield role. Estrada had the perfect set up from Rosales in the 10’ positioned directly in front of goal but he collided with MacMath who was going for the save. Estrada clipped him in the head, sending MacMath to ground which stopped play briefly.
This was Seattle’s sixth home game out of the first eight matches and they continue their unbeaten run to five. The Rave Green has earned six points in four days and next play FC Dallas away on May 9.