Just as Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales was about to take the field for Sunday's matchup with the New England Revolution, River Plate, an Argentinian power and his former club, were in the midst of falling in a relegation playoff, the first time the team has been sent down. For the first time in the 110-year history of the club, River Plate will not be playing in Argentina's first division, a revelation that, predictably, drew the ire of hooligans in and around the stadium.
It was an ugly scene at the stadium as violence broke out and riot police descended on the area. Fires were set, players and staff were threatened, and the clashes between police and citizens quickly spiraled out of control.
Meanwhile, Rosales had himself a solid game with his new club here in Seattle, propelling the team to a 2-1 victory over the Revolution. But for Rosales, it was bitter sweet as he learned the news of his club and the violence following the game. The Seattle Times' Joshua Mayers asked Rosales about his former club following the Sounders' win and it was apparent just how heart-breaking the River Plate news was to him.
"I just heard at the end of the game and I'm really, really sad," he said. "I can't complete my happiness with this game because it's a very bad feeling. I'm very sorry for the players and the fans. I can't say anything. I hope they can come up again as soon as possible. It's very frustrating."