It didn't take long for Mauro Rosales to get a baptism of fire for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but he at least got to experience it in familiar surroundings.
The Argentine's trade from Chivas USA to Vancouver was completed on Thursday evening, and just over 48 hours later he was suiting up for the 'Caps in his old home at StubHub Center against LA Galaxy.
Rosales came on as a halftime sub and although he couldn't prevent the s from going down to a 2-0 defeat, head coach Carl Robinson felt that the brief outing showed just what the midfielder will bring to his new club.
"I was really excited managing to get the trade of Mauro and I think he showed, in the 45 minutes that he was on, what he can bring to this young group of players and what he can bring to the team," Robinson told Vancouver's TEAM 1410 radio after the match."
"He understood positionally where to be, he's a threat, he was creative, he linked up with the boys very well. He's got the experience and we're going to need a little bit of that between now and the end of the season. I was delighted with the performance of Mauro."
The impetus Rosales added to the Whitecaps FC attack was instantly noticeable when he came on and despite the disappointment of defeat – the midfielder felt that while the 'Caps simply weren't switched on enough in the first half – they can at least take some positives from their second-half performance.
"In the first half we probably didn’t come out with the right mentality to face this game," Rosales told reporters after the match. "We were playing against one of the top teams, always you have to be aware of everything; full concentration.If you just miss one play because of concentration, then you are going to get punished and that’s what happened in the first half. Second half we looked forward, we looked much better, more organized as a team."
Despite only having one training session under his belt, Rosales is already feeling comfortable among his new teammates, but with a close playoff race expected in the season run-in, Rosales knows the new-look 'Caps need to gel quickly and have belief in what the they can achieve.
"We need to learn from each other, to know each other much better," Rosales said. "We didn't have any time to combine, to play. Obviously, when you are in the league you need to learn how to play with the team that you have already faced in the past. It is easy for me to adapt quickly to the team, and I’m sure that we can do it."
"Everyone has to believe in what we have as a team. In just two days here with the team I can see the willingness to win and the willingness to get better every day and this is something that is really good for a team."
It’s not too late to participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including prorated season tickets, 5-packs, student season tickets, and a youth soccer half-season ticket. Single-match tickets start at $22, subject to applicable fees. For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.