Mauro Rosales hasn't had much to celebrate so far this season, but he turned out a notable performance in Seattle Sounders FC's 1-0 defeat of the Philadelphia Union at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.
Rosales has not been at full fitness after battling injuries at the start of the 2012 Major League Soccer campaign, but he helped his side claim three points by netting the lone goal of the contest in the 63rd minute.
Seattle looked more likely to break the deadlock in the opening period. Fredy Montero had an open header from the center of the box in the 19th minute but nodded his effort directly at Zac MacMath, and Alex Caskey hit a rocket from distance that narrowly sailed wide of the post in the 26th minute.
The Sounders wasted no time applying pressure to the Union in the second half as Andy Rose connected on a corner kick in the 47th minute but powered his header off the crossbar.
The home side finally gained the lead following some great build-up play. Eddie Johnson controlled a throw-in in Seattle's attacking end of the pitch and relinquished possession to Montero. The Colombian drifted inside before picking out Rosales on the right flank with a perfectly weighted pass. Rosales found himself with time and space on the right side of the box and made no mistake with the chance, driving a low shot to the far post for his first goal of the season.
Seattle has proven to be much better with Rosales on field this year scoring eight goals in the four games in which Rosales has played while only managing three goals in the four games in which Rosales was sidelined.
Montero came within inches of doubling Seattle's lead four minutes from time when he curled a beautiful effort toward goal. The shot looked destined for the upper corner as it sailed over MacMath, but the young Philadelphia 'keeper was relieved to see it rattle the crossbar and bounce back into play.
The Sounders (6-1-1) have won four in a row to improve to 19 points on the season. They will look to extend their unbeaten run to six games when they return to action Wednesday at FC Dallas.
Philadelphia (2-5-1) looked to be heading in the right direction with a three- game unbeaten run, but two straight defeats have left the club fighting to climb out of the bottom-half of the Eastern Conference. The Union will hope to rebound on May 13 when they host conference rivals Red Bull New York.