As suspected, the Seattle Sounders and Mauro Rosales have agreed to a multi-year contract extension. The announcement was made at the club's year-end business meeting this evening. Though terms have not been fully disclosed, Rosales' contract is large enough to make him a designated player; whether they Sounders choose to do so depends on numerous other factors, as Rosales' contract is likely close enough to the DP threshold that it could be paid down with allocation money. If the Sounders have enough room under the salary cap and enough remaining allocation money, the could plausibly add a third designated player in addition to re-signing Rosales.
The 30-year-old winger came to the Sounders as a trialist in pre-season and began receiving regular playing time following the season-ending injury to Steve Zakuani. Rosales quickly established himself as a key member of the Sounders attack, acting as a wide playmaker and meshing well with his creative teammates in the second band of the team's formation. His efforts were enough to take home the MLS Newcomer of the Year award and his presence was clearly missed in the playoffs after his season was ended early due to injury.
After making the league minimum of $42,000 last season, Rosales more than earned his substantial raise. His return will also be welcome news after what has so far been a tumultuous off-season; Rosales was not only a key player on the field for Seattle, he was heralded by teammates and coaches alike for his leadership abilities off the field. After losing the veteran presence of Kasey Keller, James Riley, Pat Noonan and Nate Jaqua, some continuity in leadership will be needed.