Sounders FC re-signs star playmaker Rosales to 2-year deal
The wait is over. For months, the finalization of a new contract for Sounders FC midfielder Mauro Rosales has seemed imminent. At long last, the...
Seattle Times staff reporter
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The wait is over.
For months, the finalization of a new contract for Sounders FC midfielder Mauro Rosales has seemed imminent. At long last, the news became official Tuesday night when Seattle announced a multiyear deal for the star playmaker before a business meeting with season-ticket holders.
Terms of the contract were not announced, per league and team policy, but it is believed to be a two-year deal worthy of designated player status. Before next season starts, the Sounders could still buy down the salary with allocation money and save the DP spot.
"I really am enjoying being here with the guys, with the team, with the people and the city," said Rosales in a news release, calling 2011 "a season of great joy."
A thankful Rosales added: "I am very happy to be in Seattle, playing for our wonderful fans."
The 30-year-old Argentine joined the Sounders in February for a preseason tryout and signed on March 18. Due to the team's salary-cap constraints at the time, he was forced to sign for the league minimum of $42,000.
With an ever-upbeat personality, one that instantly made him a fan favorite, Rosales didn't sulk at the minimum paychecks. He excelled, instead, and was a clear choice for MLS Newcomer of the Year, sweeping the voting by players, club officials and media.
With 13 assists in 2011, which ranked third in MLS, Rosales broke the team record for a season. He also scored five goals as he emerged as an MVP candidate before a sprained knee ended his season before the playoffs.
It was no surprise, then, that re-signing Rosales was a priority for Sounders FC. General manager Adrian Hanauer, in the release, said both sides were always confident of coming to an agreement.
"There was a great deal of trust between ourselves and Mauro and (his agent) Dario Sala," Hanauer said. "They put their faith in us and we wanted to take care of Mauro. He has earned this contract through his outstanding play, his dedication to his craft and his commitment to this club, his fellow players and our coaches."
In an email to The Seattle Times last month, Sala wrote that Rosales is "very happy with his new contract, and very excited about next season."
Rosales came to the Sounders with a first-class pedigree, having played for a pair of big clubs — River Plate in Argentina and Ajax in the Netherlands — and Argentina's national team. Seattle was 13-3-6 with Rosales in the starting lineup and 10-1-2 when he either scored or had an assist.
"Mauro has helped make us a strong club, and with him going forward we hope to only grow in strength," said Hanauer.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @joshuamayers
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