BY JONATHAN VERA
CARSON, Calif. – Playing a game with nothing on the line, the Seattle Sounders went into their match against Chivas USA on Saturday night looking to stay healthy and looking to keep up their recent outstanding form heading into the MLS playoffs.
They accomplished one of those two, dominating Chivas USA on their way to a 3-0 victory. The Sounders had little trouble with the Goats, but did receive a major scare when star playmaker Mauro Rosales left the match in the seventh minute with a knee injury after being taken down by Ben Zemanski.
Rosales left the match on a stretcher, but was later seen walking under his own power. The injury he suffered wasn't known, but it isn't believed to be as serious as the sprained knee that forced him to miss playing time a month ago.
“I’m not sure they have to do an MRI, a lot depends on how he feels tomorrow,” said Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “A lot depends on how he feels tomorrow. We saw the replay and it wasn’t nearly what it was the last time in terms of the contact.”
Fortunately for Rosales and Seattle, the Argentine stayed on the bench for the remainder of the half and limped off on his own power despite having the knee wrapped.
“He’s in a little bit of pain and is a little scared,” added Schmd. “When you have that injury and get hit basically in that same spot there’s a little bit of injury and concern, but I don’t think it’s nearly as severe as it was last time. It’s just a matter of him progressing and hopefully he’ll be back before you know it.”
The opening score of the match came via own goal by Andrew Boyens in the 53rd minute.
The Sounders put on the final stamp in minute 68 and 73 with a Alvaro Fernandez blast and a finish from Sammy Ochoa, who put his shot through the legs of Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
"Sammy has been a good pick up for us,” Schmid said. “He knows how to play the game he did a good job holding the ball up for us and he’s courageous sticking his head in there to score the goal.”
The Goats deflated after the own-goal. Even a late goal by second-half substitute Victor Estupinan wasn't enough to rally the Red-and-White. Their season has come to a disappointing end.
For Seattle, the important part of the season lies ahead, with a Western Conference playoff semifinal series vs. Real Salt Lake next on the schedule.