This is a feature in Issue 22 of Sounders Monthly, Sounders FC’s original magazine. They are available for free at The NINETY, Soccer Celebration, GuestLink Services locations and Membership Central as well as the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and South gates.
Things are going well for Víctor Rodríguez.
The 29-year-old has scored nine goals in 37 regular-season appearances since joining the Seattle Sounders in summer 2017. After his daughter, Astrid, was born in October of that year, he celebrated by forming his fingers into an “A” for her name, and he’s done it on every goal since.
“[Life] is pretty good,” Rodriguez said. “[My family and I] are enjoying it a lot, we enjoy the Seattle people. They are very friendly, and I am really happy.
“Obviously better now with this [summer] weather,” he added with a smirk.
Víctor Rodríguez poses at Houghton Beach Park in Kirkland, Wash. (All photos by Jane Gershovich)
Rodríguez grew up in Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city and a place known for its beautiful scenery, its history and its football. He spent four years in FC Barcelona’s famed La Masia Academy, donning the same colors as Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas.
La Masia taught Rodríguez much of what he knows about soccer, but also proved a pivotal place in his development as a man.
“It was amazing,” Rodríguez said. “You can play with really good players in Spain. I enjoyed it a lot. It helps form you as a person. You always to have respect your teammates, respect the staff. It’s really important to improve on a personal level.”
His first soccer idol was Javier Saviola, a former Argentine international who joined Barcelona’s First Team in 2001, the same year Rodríguez joined the Academy. Saviola starred at Argentine giants River Plate before making the move to Camp Nou, where he made over 100 appearances for Barça.
Rodríguez turned pro in 2008 and spent the next 10 years playing in Spain’s first and second divisions before joining the Sounders from Sporting Gijón two years ago. Since then, he’s been a crucial part of a Sounders attack that reached MLS Cup 2017 and set an MLS record for consecutive wins last year.
“I really love the atmosphere in CenturyLink Field with our fans,” Rodríguez said. “Every game it’s a show, every game it’s amazing to play there. I enjoy playing with my teammates a lot too. The staff and the players, we have a great connection and mutual feelings. When I feel that, it’s very important for me. I enjoy playing with Nico [Lodeiro], Jordan [Morris], Cristian [Roldan], we have a lot of players who play similarly. I really enjoy that.”
One thing that surprised Rodríguez initially when he arrived in Seattle was the quality of play in MLS, especially from his young domestic teammates.
“I didn’t know a lot about the league,” Rodríguez said candidly. “I know now that the level is really up. There are really good players here, American players too. Cristian and Jordan are a good example.”
Moving to the United States from the only place he’s ever lived or played was an adjustment. He didn’t speak much English at the time, but is all but fluent now. He even completed this entire interview in English, something he didn’t think would be possible when he moved across the Atlantic in 2017.
“It’s hard for me to organize phrases, but I’m really happy learning English because it’s the biggest language in the world,” he said. “I hope this will help me in the future, not just for soccer.
“I’ve improved as a person with my daughter and my wife,” he added. “But as a soccer player, I hope I can continue improving to do a lot of things for this franchise.”