Rodriguez article size image 2017-07-31

Seattle Sounders sign 28-year-old Spanish midfielder Víctor Rodríguez

Another Seattle Sounders reinforcement is on the way.

The Sounders on Wednesday announced the signing of 28-year-old Spanish winger Víctor Rodríguez from Sporting Gijón in La Liga 2, Spain’s second division. Rodríguez began training with Seattle on Monday when General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said there was still some paperwork to be done before the move is finalized.

Rodríguez had spent his entire nine-year career in his home country, compiling over 230 appearances for CF Badalona, UE Vilajuïga, Zaragoza, Elche CF, Getafe CF and Sporting Gijón. He is the Sounders’ second signing during the current transfer window after welcoming 27-year-old Dutch fullback Kelvin Leerdam on July 1. Leerdam has a goal and an assist in three appearances.

“[Rodríguez] is a player [Vice President of Soccer and Sporting Director] Chris Henderson has scouted for almost two years now,” Lagerwey said. “He’s seen him multiple times live and I want to give Chris a lot of credit because he really was dogged about this one. He had never been available and suddenly he was available and popped up and we thought, ‘Well, OK this is a guy we’ve been tracking for a while and are pretty excited about.’”

Rodríguez is a product of Barcelona’s famous youth academy La Masia, which has produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and countless other world-class players. Rodriguez spent four years with La Masia and played alongside current Barcelona fullback Jordi Alba. He then joined Badalona, where he signed his first professional contract and went on to make 127 appearances in La Liga.

“From a coaching perspective, adding a player of Víctor’s quality only helps to improve our team at a critical juncture in our season,” said Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “We are excited to get him into training quickly and onboard him with his new teammates. We have some critical games on the horizon, and Víctor’s abilities and experience are welcome assets to our club.”

Lagerwey noted that the two most unsettled spots on the Sounders’ roster during the first half of the season were right fullback and left wing. He expected certain players to potentially lock down those spots, but he said that did not happen and was part of the reason for the move.

“What we really want for the second half of the season is stability and good consistent options,” Lagerwey said. “As a GM, I want to give my coaching staff options. By signing Víctor, we give our coaching staff some more options. He’s a guy we made an investment in and who we think can have a bright future for us.”