Mauro Rosales deserves full credit for his first goal of the season, but it probably wasn’t coincidence that it happened just a couple of minutes after Eddie Johnson entered the game as a reserve.
The Sounders’ flashy newcomer combined with fellow striker Fredy Montero to advance the ball in the 63rd minute to the foot of Rosales at the top of the penalty area. The Argentine midfielder took it from there, controlling the dribble and blasting a low, hard 10-yarder to the far post past rookie Philadelphia goalie Zac MacMath for the only score in the 1-0 win Saturday at the Clink, the Sounders’ fourth in a row.
“Obviously three games in a week is not an easy task, but we came out with nine points so that is something that we are very happy about,” said Sigi Schmid, who won his 50th game as Sounders’ coach. “That is the most you can get so we are very pleased with that.”
“I’m happy with it, especially considering the game Wednesday,” said Sigi Schmid, who won his 50th game as Sounders coach. “We’ve had a lot of guys play a lot of minutes.”
Playing a third game in eight days, Schmid decided to rest Johnson and Brad Evans, and was forced to play without goalie Michael Gspurning, out with a hip injury. Schmid inserted rookies Bryan Meredith and Andy Rose for their first MLS starts.
“I thought Meredith did great in goal and dealt with the things he needed to deal with,” Schmid said. “I thought our defense did a good job keeping things away from him. Andy Rose got a little excited and had a couple of tackles there. We were probably a little bit fortunate that the referee maintained his composure and was able to keep Andy on the field. Then Andy settled down and I thought he was much better in the second half.”
Seattle dominated play and missed numerous chance to make it a rout over the Union, but acquired the three points that elevated the Sounders (6-1-1) to second place in the Western Conference behind San Jose.
Rose, an Australian who captained the UCLA team in college, was yellow-carded in the 18th minute and fouled again with a tackle from behind and was lucky not to have been ejected. In the 47th minute, Rose nearly put away a header off a corner kick from Rosales, but it hit the crossbar.
Johnson came in for Rose in the 60th minute and put immediate pressure on the Union defense, helping set up the Rosales score with a feed to Montero.
Recovering from a knee injury, Rosales’ return to form — he played a season-high 81 minutes — has been a big help.
He’s still not 100 percent,” said Schmid. “We need him out there. We need his ability to create, it’s tremendous. We’ll put him the cold tub for three days and get him out there Wednesday.”
In a stretch that includes nine games over 32 days, the Sounders play Wednesday at FC Dallas.