In the sports world, not many siblings get the chance to play together on the professional level. Every now and then you may see it occur, but the chances are very slim that it actually happens.
Alex Roldan will be one of those lucky siblings entering the 2018 Major League Soccer campaign, after being selected 22nd overall by the Seattle Sounders in the first round of Friday’s MLS Draft, setting him up to play with his older brother, standout U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Cristian Roldan.
“Not many siblings in the league get the chance to play with one another so I’m definitely excited for that,” Alex Roldan told SBI. “It’s a dream come true honestly, I know I’m gonna lean on him at times, and I’m ready to get started with Seattle.”
Roldan may not have attended the biggest school on the map for college soccer, but certainly made his presence known on a national scale. He earned back-to-back All Western Athletic Conference first team honors. The Pico Rivera, California native is a playmaking midfielder that will now join up with one of the top teams in Major League Soccer.
His eight assists in 2017 were tops on the team, while also adding six goals. After only four goals and six assists combined in his first two years at Seattle, Roldan doubled that tally in 2016 with eight goals scored.
His final year saw him develop into a better all-around talent, also earning first team All-West Region honors this past season. Now he gets to start with a team that knows the effort needed to be successful.
“Just like Cristian, I can be another player that bounces all around the field for the good of the team,” Roldan said. “I definitely have the ability to fill a number of different roles for the team and i’m just thankful the the opportunity.”
The early period may not be as welcoming as expected for the rookie Roldan like his brother. Cristian was a part of the 2016 MLS Cup-winning team, playing in 39 matches that season. With the high amount of talent on the Sounders roster, the 22-year-old younger brother knows he may have to lean on training to get himself noticed.
“As a rookie I know playing time will be hard to come by but I just need to make the most of my time in training,” Roldan said. “My time at Seattle has really helped me grow into the player and person I am today. The jump to the professional level is a big step for sure, but I’m going to enjoy the process.”