VANCOUVER, BC – What can Vancouver Whitecaps FC expect from newly-acquired midfielder Mauro Rosales? Here’s a look at some of the numbers behind Rosales’ first three-and-a-half years in Major League Soccer, which should help answer that question.
One of the first words Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson used when describing Rosales was “creativity.” The Argentine knows how to create chances for his teammates, through and through.
Since joining MLS in 2011, Rosales has created 236 chances – defined as a pass, cross, or throughball instrumental in creating a goal-scoring opportunity – which is tied with Landon Donovan for fourth best in the league.
The only players who have created more chances over the same timeframe are Graham Zusi, Brad Davis and Javier Morales. Not bad company.
Having created so many chances, it’s no surprise that Rosales has also been among the league-leaders in assists. The 5-foot-8 playmaker has 42 assists since joining MLS in 2011, second to only Davis (43).
Coming into this season, Rosales was averaging 0.5 assists per 90 minutes, which ranks fifth in the all-time MLS record books.
This season, Rosales has assisted nearly 40 per cent of Chivas USA’s goals. His eight assists are tied for the third highest total in MLS and are second to only Pedro Morales on Whitecaps FC.
Eleven of Rosales’ 42 career MLS assists have come from set plays (either a corner or free kick), which is the third most in the league since 2011.
This is an area the ‘Caps have been looking to improve – as evidenced by the acquisition of 6-foot-5 centre back Kendall Waston earlier this month. Having both players in the lineup should add a different dimension to the ‘Caps attack.
That’s how many touches Rosales is averaging per match this season, which is nowhere near the top of the charts. That goes to show that Rosales isn’t necessarily a player that will pull the strings from the middle of the park – that will still be up to Morales.
The 33-year-old will, however, provide more of an attacking threat from the flanks, which should free up even more space for Morales in midfield.
Watching the South American duo feed off each other should be a treat.
*Statistics courtesy of Opta Sports.
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