Seattle Sounders midfielder Víctor Rodríguez is healthy now, and that’s a problem for opponents.
The 29-year-old Spaniard has had an admittedly tough year with several injuries that have sidelined him and halted any playing rhythm, but during the last couple weeks Rodríguez has looked like his normal productive self, tearing up defenses with incisive movements and fearless attacks off the dribble. He recorded his first MLS brace on Monday in a 4-1 rout of the Houston Dynamo, his third goal in the last two matches, and this seems to be just the beginning.
“He has just found a really good run of form,” Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said of Rodríguez. “We saw it coming a while back because the kid has been working hard in training all the time. He works hard, he’s put the work and effort into his rehab when he’s been injured. He’s been a very, very good pro, and he’s reaping the benefits of being a good pro now. We’re happy that it’s happening right now at the tail end of the season when he can really be at his peak. It can help us tremendously.”
Rodríguez celebrates one of his two goals against the Dynamo on Monday | Charis Wilson
Rodríguez had a team-high five shots on Monday to go along with 72 touches and an 85-percent passing accuracy. He has at least three shots in each of the last four matches and has been especially crucial of late, stepping up immediately after Harry Shipp went down with a right hamstring strain a couple weeks ago.
“I’m very happy for him,” Nicolás Lodeiro said of his midfield partner Rodríguez. “He deserves this. He works every day. He always thinks positive for the team. He deserves these goals and these games.”
Rodríguez has now played in 27 matches in the regular season and postseason since joining Seattle last August from La Liga’s Sporting de Gijón. He’s recorded seven goals and six assists, and his offensive production will likely be called upon if the Sounders are to reach MLS Cup for the third consecutive season.
“I’m very happy for today, for the result and for the goals,” Rodríguez said Monday. ‘For me, the season has been complicated. Now, I feel a little bit better, and it’s good for the team.
“I feel really good. I know I can keep going.”