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Chivas USA 1-3 Seattle Sounders: Sounders Rampant In Second Half But Concern Over Mauro Rosales Injury The Big Story

In many ways, the Seattle Sounders night was a huge disappointment just five minutes after this game began. Mauro Rosales was stretchered off the field in the 5th minute after finding himself on the receiving end of a late and clumsy standing challenge from Ben Zemanski. Zemanski came across Rosales' body and caught the right knee that kept the Seattle midfielder out of action for a month. Rosales walked off the pitch under his own power at halftime, though he was limping noticeably and his knee was heavily bandaged. During his in-game interview, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid referred to Rosales being subbed out as a precaution but little definitive information will be known until Rosales is more closely examined.

As for the game itself, the Sounders looked slow and shaken after the Rosales injury but had a renewed energy at the start of the second half. It would be Chivas USA that put the ball into the net first; unfortunately for the Goats Andrew Boyens nifty finish found its way into his own net, given the Sounders a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute. Possibly due to sheepishness over having a lead thanks to an opposition own goal the Sounders decided to kick up the class of their remaining goals; in the 68th minute Alvaro Fernandez scored an absolutely gorgeous goal, chesting down a fantastic chipped through ball from Brad Evans, dummying a touch with his left foot and flicking a volley past Dan Kennedy with his right. Sammy Ochoa would put things to bed in the 80th, sprinting down the left flank unmarked and putting a diving header onto the end of Fredy Montero's sublime cross and through Kennedy's legs.

Chivas USA would get a consolation goal in the 83rd minute as Victor Estupinan picked up the first of the 30 MLS goals he predicted he would score in his team's final game. Jeff Parke lost Estupinan in the box and Kasey Keller came off his line leaving the young Ecuadorian striker unmarked in front of goal to head into the net. It was sloppy work for the Sounders at the back, unfortunate considering that for the majority of the evening the defense looked razor sharp. Still, it's an overall performance the Sounders will be quite happy with heading into the first leg of the Western Conference Semi Finals against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

Unfortunately it's going to be tough for anyone to really enjoy the win until the extent of the damage to Mauro Rosales is known. The Sounders are a very good team without the winger and there's no reason to think they can't make a real run at the MLS Cup without him. But with him they're significantly better, and if he's unavailable for any extended length of time it will be a major blow to Seattle's chances.