Alex Roldan is here to stay.
The Seattle Sounders announced on Thursday that Roldan has signed a three-year contract with the club. Originally drafted out of Seattle University in 2018 as a midfielder, the younger Roldan has developed into one of the best outside backs in Major League Soccer, starting all four playoff games in 2020 before locking down the starting job at right wingback in 2021.
“Alex’s growth speaks for itself,” said General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “He made the All-Star Team last year, and he’s the captain of his national team with El Salvador. He really took big strides, and we think he’s going to continue to grow and develop for us.”
During his standout college career with the SU Redhawks, Roldan established himself as a versatile midfielder with an excellent passing range. As Roldan moved further back the pitch and into a more defensive role, he’s added dogged defending, quick combination play and excellent service form wide areas to his arsenal.
Roldan’s rise over the past two seasons has been nothing short of meteoric. Entering 2020 as a preseason trialist, he quickly won the backup right back job behind incumbent Kelvin Leerdam. When the Dutch defender picked up an injury toward the end of the year, Roldan stepped into the starting lineup seamlessly, putting in standout performances against LAFC and FC Dallas in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Entering the 2021 season as the presumed starter, Roldan capitalized on the momentum established the year prior in a new wingback role. The El Salvador international hit the ground running in Seattle’s new back-three formation, playing a pivotal role as the Sounders rattled off a historic 13-match unbeaten run to start the year. Roldan parlayed those strong showings at the club level into starting in the 2021 MLS All-Star game, as well as becoming a mainstay and captain for the El Salvador National Team.
Of course, one of Roldan’s more memorable performances came in Seattle’s 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes when he helped see out the win as a goalkeeper in place of the injured Stefan Frei, producing several key stops as the Sounders held onto the clean sheet.
“We’re excited to bring him back and certainly we’re hopeful that him playing next to his brother will continue to lift the team to more heights,” added Lagerwey. “The more Roldans, the better.”
Roldan’s return to the Rave Green brings the roster to 27 players.
Seattle will officially kick off the 2022 campaign on February 17 as they visit Honduran side F.C. Motagua in Leg One of the Concacaf Champions League before hosting Leg Two at Lumen Field on February 24.