PHILADELPHIA — Alex Roldan has heard his last name reverberate throughout a sold-out crowd at CenturyLink Field many times throughout the past three years, but he may finally have the chance to hear his first name.
The Seattle Sounders selected Roldan with the 22nd pick in the first round of MLS SuperDraft 2018 presented by adidas on Friday. He will join his older brother, Cristian, on the Rave Green roster, an opportunity for which he is incredibly grateful.
“I was so excited,” Alex said. “I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play with [Cristian]. Not many players get the luxury that I have right now of playing with their brother. Cristian has had a successful career here so far in the league, and I’m excited to learn from him.
“To be able to stay in Seattle, which is my second home, I’m fortunate and I’m blessed to have this opportunity. I’m so excited to get going.”
Alex, 21, grew up respecting the humility Cristian displayed on and off the field, a trait Alex carried with him through four successful years at Seattle University. Alex improved his passing each season and has grown into a versatile contributor in the midfield, at times sitting deeper and picking out teammates, while also being unafraid to take the attacking onus on himself and unbalance defenses in the final third.
Alex trained with Cristian and the Sounders at various points throughout his college offseasons and is looking forward to playing under Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.
“He’s a great coach, he’s brought the Sounders to back-to-back finals appearances,” said Alex. “It gave me the pro atmosphere. Not many college players get to experience that when they’re in college. It was definitely an eye-opener. It helped me realize that I wanted to achieve that goal even more.”
Alex knows he will have to prove himself in a talented Seattle midfield that includes the likes of Cristian, Osvaldo Alonso and Nicolás Lodeiro, but when his time comes to step out in a Sounders kit in front of 45,000-plus fans at CenturyLink, he, like his brother, is ready to represent his last name proudly.
“It’s going to be surreal,” Alex said. “We’re both blessed to have this opportunity to go out and play a game for one of the best clubs in MLS. I’m excited to see the reactions of the fans to having two Roldans on the field.”