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Alex Roldan records assist to Cristian Roldan in first career MLS start

According Alex Roldan, he doesn't think about it too much when he plays alongside his older brother, Cristian.

“It was out of my head," Alex said on Sunday following his first career MLS start. "It’s a great feeling to be on the same pitch as my brother, but that being said, once the game starts, my head is in the game and I’m concentrating hopefully to get three points out of it.”

In the 2-2 draw at Sporting KC, Alex played 88 minutes as a defensive-minded midfielder on the left side. In doing so, he and his brother became the seventh pair of brothers in MLS history, including the first for the Sounders, to start together in an MLS match. 

"That's a good storyline," Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said after the draw. "They went out there and played pretty well... I hate to compare [Alex] to his brother, but he's a good player."

In the second half, Cristian recorded his first goal of the season to give the Sounders a 2-1 lead. While Will Bruin was the one who laid the ball off to the fourth-year midfielder, it was Alex who was credited with a second assist for finding Bruin. As a result, they became the fifth set of brothers to earn a goal/assist together.

"It’s a good feeling," Alex said. "Just having the assist in general is a good feeling, but the way I was able to share that with my brother is something special.”

As for Cristian, he's able to see his brother continue to show progress in the early part of the 2018 campaign. A first-round selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft from Seattle University, Alex made his MLS debut as a reserve against FC Dallas in March 18. In his Sunday's start, he combined well on the left side and barely missed a shot from beyond the 18.

“I thought he was confident, I thought he played extremely well," Cristian said. "I think the world of him as a player, and it’s only up from here.

"I think he’s going to improve vastly, it’s just a matter of time," he added. "I thought he was very dynamic, he picked his spots very well, and with every game he can get better. It’s about gaining experience and hopefully he can be a big impact on this team going forward.”

The Sounders return to action at CenturyLink Field next Sunday, April 22 against Minnesota United FC (1 p.m. PT / ESPN, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM / TICKETS). 

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