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September 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Mauro Rosales set to return this weekend

rosales mug.jpgSounders FC midfielder Mauro Rosales has missed the past three games with a quad injury but looks set to return for this weekend’s road game in Vancouver.

Asked if he feels ready for Saturday, Rosales said, “Yeah, I think so. I was almost ready for the last game, but we did one more week to be 100-percent fit. … It’s something that I needed — to be with the ball and playing with them and getting my timing again. It’s great. I feel good.”

Coach Sigi Schmid backed that up.

“He trained hard yesterday and he felt good today,” Schmid said of Rosales. “When I talked to him he said he felt all right, so things look good for him to be able to play on the weekend.”

Rosales said the recovery has been mainly precautionary, but he was at a point with his quad where he didn’t feel confident crossing or shooting the ball with his right foot.

“I’ve been working very hard in the gym to get the muscle a little stronger,” the midfielder said. “I’m OK now and it’s the coach’s decision if I’m going to play.”

So how are the Sounders different without Rosales on the field?

“You get used to playing with certain players,” said Schmid, “and he’s a player who has an ability to break down a team when they pack in a little bit. He’s a guy with a little bit of that creative element. He’s also probably — with maybe (Christian) Tiffert as an exception — our best crosser of the ball. He’s a guy who seems to find people on those crosses. He hits them a little bit differently, with a little bit less pace, but he finds people. That helps us, as well, from the flanks. He’s a guy who the ball goes to when we’re playing and he sees a lot of the ball. When he’s not in there, you’re looking for different people to connect your game.”

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