There have been many great signings in Major League Soccer. Some of the biggest names in world football have called MLS home at one point.
But few have had the influence and impact that Seattle Sounders midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro has had. And if the Sounders win Concacaf Champions League against Liga MX’s Pumas UNAM on Wednesday night (7:06 p.m. PT; FS1, TUDN, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS), he’ll have done something that no MLS player has ever accomplished.
“He is probably the greatest acquisition in MLS history,” said ExtraTime Radio’s David Gass following Lodeiro’s two penalty conversions in Leg One in Mexico City last week that sent the tie back to Seattle level on aggregate at 2-2.
The numbers speak for themselves. Lodeiro is far and away the Sounders’ all-time assist leader with 62, and he’s added 34 goals to boot. He also has an additional eight goals and 10 assists in the postseason.
WATCH: Every Sounders goal in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League
“Nico is unique because he does nothing but win,” said Sounders FC Senior VP of Soccer & Sporting Director Craig Waibel. “He leads people to win. He competes every day at practice to win, and there’s no other way to truly describe him other than being a winner.”
Lodeiro's real crowning achievement is his leadership ability in big matches, helping lead the Sounders to six finals in seven years with a chance for his third major trophy on Wednesday.
“If you look at Lodeiro as a figure with the Seattle Sounders from the moment he signed up until now, you think about the biggest moments that he’s had, where they’ve won MLS Cup, where he’s had MVP-type performances…this is the ideal type of player,” said ExtraTime Radio’s Charlie Davis, a former MLS forward and United States international. “If you’re ever talking about scouting and the right signing, this is the ideal impact you want from your [Designated Player].”
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Lodeiro had a goal and an assist in the CCL Round of 16 home win over F.C. Motagua in a 5-0 rout. He netted a penalty against New York City FC in the first leg of the CCL semifinals before proving yet again in the first leg of the final that he is going to go down on the Sounders’ Mount Rushmore of greatest ever players.
If the Sounders win on Wednesday, captain Lodeiro will lift another trophy at home like he did for MLS Cup 2019 and rewrite both club, and league, history.