Chivas USA made quite a splash this afternoon, trading the rights of Tristan Bowen and the number two spot in the 2014 Allocation Order to the Seattle Sounders in exchange for midfielder Mauro Rosales and the number 13 spot in the 2014 Allocation Order. The deal was announced by the club.
Although further terms of the deal were not disclosed, as per usual team and league policy, it is worth noting that Rosales was out of contract following the 2013 season, though Seattle maintained his league rights for another day, anyway (he was set to enter the MLS Re-Entry draft, which begins tomorrow). The release from Chivas does not indicate that they received Rosales' rights, so it appears they have a contract agreement set with the Argentine.
Rosales, 32, spent the last three seasons with the Sounders, where he was the de facto playmaker for the side, playing in the middle and on the right depending on the circumstances and the team around him. After impressing in 2011, Seattle rewarded him with a Designated Player contract the last two seasons. He's scored a total of 12 goals and 34 assists in 86 MLS Regular season appearances. He was named the MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2011 and won the U.S. Open Cup with the Sounders, also in 2011.
Prior to joining the Sounders, Rosales played for three clubs, Newell's Old Boys and River Plate in Argentina, and Dutch powerhouse Ajax. He also won the U-20 World Cup and 2004 Olympic Gold Medal, and has been capped by Argentina's senior squad.
The biggest knock on Rosales in MLS is his propensity to pick up injuries. Although he played in 33 games this past season, the most in a season in his MLS career, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid often took him off early or brought him off the bench in many games.
On the flipside for Chivas, Rosales is a playmaker the likes of which the Goats haven't seen for years, perhaps ever in their history, and if he can stay healthy, he should be able to drastically improve Chivas' service and set piece delivery (another Achilles' heel for the team). That he also has considerable MLS experience should dramatically improve Chivas' hopes moving into 2014.
Still, it is worth noting that sometimes getting players in their 30s with MLS experience pays off, and sometimes it doesn't. Juan Pablo Angel played great in 2011 after arriving to Chivas, and didn't play nearly as well in 2012. Shalrie Joseph was an unmitigated disaster after arriving in 2012. Here's hoping Rosales can carve out a niche of his own in Chivas USA lore, in a good way, of course.
Given the deal itself, on paper, this looks like a great move. After Bowen spit on an opponent in a game last season, he did get back on the field again, but it seemed pretty likely that his days with Chivas were numbered. Bowen had a few good moments in his three year stint with Chivas, but those were really few and far between, and even taking the risk on Rosales looks like a great move for the organization, and one that was completely unexpected given the almost-universally terrible trades they made in the past year.
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