Roldan has had a massive season, one magnified and personified by his brilliant performance in August. The 21-year-old had been flourishing starting alongside Osvaldo Alonso at defensive midfield in interim head coach Brian Schmetzer’s 4-2-3-1 formation, and Roldan showed exactly how effective a playmaker he can be in Seattle’s well-earned win over its southern rival.
Roldan drew a penalty in the 60th minute to set up the game’s opening goal. He attacked defender Vytas Andriuškevičius on the right side of the 18-yard-box, stutter-stepped and was fouled when he was about to blow past him. Clint Dempsey coolly buried the ensuing penalty kick to give the Sounders the lead.
Seattle doubled its lead 20 minutes later when Roldan dribbled in the middle of the park and picked out Dempsey in space. He took two touches and fired a low seeing-eye shot to the far post for the brace and a 2-0 Sounders lead.
Roldan put his name on the tally sheet three minutes later when he headed home a Brad Evans flick header off a corner kick from Nicolas Lodeiro. It was right place, right time for Roldan who continued his run to the back post and helped secure three points at CenturyLink Field.
The maturation he’s experienced from his rookie to his sophomore campaign was never the more evident than on that night. A month later, Major League Soccer named Roldan to its 24 Under 24 list, which highlights the best league players under 24 years old, and he’s been one of the most reliable and versatile players at Schmetzer’s disposal ever since.