Sounders FC captain Nicolás Lodeiro has been one of the most dominant forces in MLS since he entered the league midway through 2016.
132 MLS matches later, Lodeiro has racked up 38 goals, 63 assists and two MLS Cups. That year-over-year production, combined with his relentless championship mentality that has propelled the Sounders into a new era, is finally starting to garner the recognition it deserves.
On Wednesday, MLSsoccer.com ranked the top five No. 10’s in the league. Up against some of the top talents in Major League Soccer, Lodeiro emerged as the top creative midfielder, beating out the likes of Diego Valeri and Alejandro Pozuelo.
Even though the author of the piece highlighted Pozuelo as the Landon Donovan MVP frontrunner for 2020, the juxtaposition between Toronto FC’s Spanish playmaker and Seattle’s midfield magician highlights the sheer longevity of Lodeiro’s dominance in MLS.
“There isn't a great deal that separates the Toronto FC ace from Lodeiro, but it's just enough to account for Seattle’s quarterback holding the top spot here,” wrote MLSsoccer.com’s Greg Seltzer. “From an on-field standpoint, they're remarkably even. From work rate to game management to chance creation, Lodeiro and Pozuelo each rate near the top of most relevant categories. However, the Seattle star man – who, it must continually be said, has somehow yet to earn the MVP finalist tag – has a solid edge in the physicality and pressure departments. Both players can kill you on the break, but Lodeiro is significantly more likely to force the turnover that initiates it.
“While you may consider his longer MLS tenure as an advantage, there's no denying that Pozuelo has to catch up to Lodeiro's 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup victories. Nearly every MLS Cup winner has required a top No. 10, and all other playmakers have paled next to Seattle's ever-reliable maestro since he arrived on our shores.”
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