Former MLS goalkeeper/now agent Dario Sala was on a scouting trip recently in Argentina. A couple times per week he’d see the name of his client, Mauro Rosales (a native of Villa Maria, Argentina), in the newspapers.
Interest in the Sounders FC midfielder was clearly there.
“You can’t hide players in MLS anymore, like you could 10 years ago,” Sala wrote in an email. “Thanks to the internet and satellite television, foreign clubs follow the league more than ever. … So, of course, Primera Division teams are taking notice.”
Sala has heard several offers from teams in Mexico and Argentina. Rosales, instead, is interested in staying in Seattle and negotiations for a contract extension are ongoing.
For Rosales, there’s nothing not to like with Sounders FC — the organization, the facilities, the team, the fans (especially), the list goes on.
“It’s no secret that the Sounders have something special going on right now,” Sala wrote. “Mauro wants to be a part of that — and not just for the next few months. On top having of a great soccer club, Seattle is a fantastic city. Mauro’s always talking about how kind the people are and how beautiful the scenery is. Between the team and the town, it has been a fantastic fit.”
Sala deserves a lot of credit for setting up the match.
When a deal with Mexican club Queretano fell threw, he suggested that Rosales try out with Sounders FC and give the ever-growing MLS a try. Sala had a long-standing relationship with technical director, Chris Henderson, from shared years in the league and knew how great Seattle was as a soccer city.
“I always loved playing there because the stadium had such a South American feel,” he wrote. “The fans were great and the staff were wonderful. I admired what Sounders FC had built, both at its games and inside its locker room. As his record shows, Sigi obviously is a great coach. Chris and I knew each other from our playing days, as well. I had no doubts that Mauro would have the support he needed to succeed. I told Mauro that I could not send him to a better-run, better-supported club. He took a giant leap of faith by agreeing to a tryout and now he’s being rewarded.”
Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer admitted the word “reward” can be a little subjective and up to interpretation to both sides of a negotiation, “but we have no problem with rewarding Mauro for what he’s done and hopefully being able to make him happy and appropriately compensated going forward.”
Said Hanauer: “I hope that we’re always an organization that rewards performance and Mauro deserves to be taken of.”