Santa Tecla match a special night for Roldan brothers, as Alex debuts in front of family and friends in El Salvador

SANTA TECLA, El Salvador — Seattle Sounders midfielders Cristian and Alex Roldan had 40 tickets to their CONCACAF Champions League match against Santa Tecla FC on Thursday. They used all of them.

It was a special night for the Roldan brothers, who played in front of family members and friends in El Salvador for the first time as professionals. Their mother also made the trip from their home in Pico Rivera, Calif., to watch her sons play in her native country.

“I’m very happy to be able to play in front of my family and the opportunity to play in Champions League,” said Cristian. “It’s a big deal.”

Although the match did not go in their favor — Seattle lost 2-1 in the first leg with the second stint to be played at CenturyLink Field on March 1 — it was a joyous occasion and a chance for the brothers to reunite with aunts, uncles and cousins, many of whom they hadn’t seen in 10 years.

The Roldan family also got to see Alex make his competitive Sounders debut after being selected in this year’s MLS SuperDraft. The former Seattle University star came on as a substitute for Henry Wingo in the 59th minute, joining his brother in the midfield.

“Obviously we wish we could have won, but I thought [Alex] was solid in his debut,” said Cristian. “It was difficult conditions, but he’s a good enough player to be on this team and to be playing regular minutes.”