While the Seattle Sounders’ win last weekend serves as a reminder of the amount of depth and talent on the roster, Alex Roldan’s return from international duty will add an even bigger advantage for the team this weekend against the Vancouver Whitecaps (7:30 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM).
“I'm hoping to be able to get up into the attacking half and provide some crosses, give Raúl [Ruidíaz] some service and just be someone who is creating opportunities for teammates,” said Roldan. “So hopefully, this weekend, I can contribute and help the team succeed and get three points away from home.”
The veteran defender represented the El Salvador national football team this past month playing in a pair of friendlies in Asia and participating in the Concacaf Gold Cup where he faced teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The California native had standout performances while away on international duty, starting in all five matches from the friendlies and the Gold Cup combined as well as tallying a goal and an assist.
“I definitely came back with confidence,” said Roldan. “In our first stint, we played against Japan and South Korea, and there's quality players there that play in very good leagues, so when I'm able to compete against those guys, I learn a little bit more and I definitely grow as a player.”
Roldan missed a total of three MLS regular season games due to being away with El Salvador, but he hopes his experiences competing and playing alongside some of the top players in the world will carry over into his role with the Sounders.
“It's just my mentality,” said Roldan. “I go over there and try to give my best effort and just come back and do the same thing.”
With the absence of Jordan Morris, Alex Roldan and Cristian Roldan throughout the month of June, the Rave Green were without key attacking-minded players, resulting in only one goal to show for. But with Alex back in the picture, Head Coach Brian Schmetzer is confident he’ll reinforce the offense of the team while also utilizing his ability on defense to be able to contribute on both sides of the pitch.
“He's always been very good in the attacking part of the field, and he’s made strides to make sure his defending is what it needs to be,” said Schmetzer. “So yeah, it'll be helpful to get him back.”
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