The Seattle Sounders FC traded captain Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA in exchange for 22-year old Tristan Bowen; the clubs also swapped places in the 2014 Allocation Order with the Sounders now owning the 2nd spot and Chivas the 15th.
This deal is another tough pill to swallow for the Seattle fans seeing their captain shipped away but it was the best thing that the club could do in this situation. Rosales did not have a place in the future plans for Seattle in both the starting XI and on the roster in general but Sounders fans should be thankful to get something in return instead of losing their captain for nothing in stage one of the MLS Re-Entry Draft which takes place on Thursday.
Rosales originally signed with the Sounders in March of 2011 after a very successful trial, he featured prominently for the club with five goals and 13 assists in Major League Soccer play during the first year which earned him the 2011 MLS Newcomer of the Year award and a multi-year Designated Player contract with the club.
He continued his strong play during the 2012 MLS season with three goals and 13 assists and was named team captain replacing legendary goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
Rosales did not have a bad season by any means in 2013 and his exclusion from the club is based on the new tactical evolution from manager Sigi Schmid after the acquisition of Clint Dempsey as the diamond midfield used does not promote the role of winged midfielder as much as old 4-4-2. The other factor being that with the Sounders having very little space in regards to the salary cap, it is not very good accounting to have a DP-level contract coming off of the bench.
The writing was on the wall that a change was imminent when earlier this off-season Seattle signed Osvaldo Alonso to a DP contract to go along with that of Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. MLS rules allow only 3 such contracts on any given club.
The part about this deal that is the most exciting for Sounders fans is the swap in the Allocation Order with Chivas. The Allocation Order is the process which determines who has the first priority to sign a United States Men’s National Team player who signs with MLS after playing overseas or a former MLS player who is returning to the league after having gone overseas for a transfer fee. Now that the Sounders have the second spot in that ranking it will increase the likelihood of them being able to upgrade the squad during the summer transfer window or through trade with another club for that spot.
Bowen is only 22 but has already been in the league for five seasons starting out his career with Los Angeles Galaxy before being dealt to Chivas USA. In those five seasons, he has made 48 appearances with 28 starts scoring four goals. Bowen is a forward who will add some much needed depth if indeed Eddie Johnson is dealt and was the first player in MLS history to be signed directly from his club’s youth academy.