TUKWILA, Wash. – Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan said Wednesday that he has been in contact with the head coach of the Guatemalan national team about the possibility of playing with the team in the near future.
Although Roldan was born in California, he is eligible to play for Guatemala through his father, who was born there before emigrating to the United States. Roldan has never been capped at any level for the U.S. and said Wednesday he was potentially considering switching allegiances to Guatemala if the right opportunity arises.
“I spoke a little bit with [Guatemala head coach Walter Claverí], he thinks I’m playing well,” Roldan said. “It’s certainly an option, we’ll see what happens. But my first priority is the Sounders, being available for every game and hopefully being part of a team that makes the playoffs.”
Roldan, 21, has enjoyed a career year in his second season out of the University of Washington. He scored his second goal of the year in the Sounders’ 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy on Sunday, and he’s on pace to post career highs in both appearances and starts this year.
Guatemala are scheduled to play an international friendly in Panama on Aug. 10 before playing at Trinidad and Tobago and hosting St. Vincent and the Grenadines in World Cup qualifying matches early next month. The friendly would fall just four days before the Sounders host Real Salt Lake on Aug. 14, while the two World Cup qualifiers fall on a bye week for the club.
"It's up in the air still," Roldan said. "I told them I don't want to miss a Sounders game."
Roldan would have to appear in an official match with Guatemala to be cap-tied – World Cup qualifiers, CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifiers or other FIFA tournament games – and it appears to be an option Roldan is considering after previously waiting for the U.S. to call his name.
“I for sure have thought about these different options,” he said. “I want to establish myself as a good professional, and as a starter here with the Sounders first, so we’ll see what happens in the near future. I’m pretty happy with how I’m doing now, so it seems like the Guatemalan national team has been looking at me.”