The Uruguayan Designated Player was set to enter the final year of his previous deal, with the Sounders having exercised their 2021 option to keep him in Rave Green for at least another season. Relatedly, he was reportedly the subject of interest from big-spending Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal in October.
Lodeiro on 2021 being his last contact year and what's next:— Niko Moreno (@ELROLONW) December 10, 2020
I knew this could be my last year so I didn't want to think about what's next, I just wanted to focus on this season... All I know is that afyer Saturday I want to go back to Uruguay and see my family. @SportsPulso pic.twitter.com/Bw0j0oNFm8
But now both Lodeiro, whose guaranteed compensation for 2019 was a shade over $2.5 million according to MLS Players Association documents, and Seattle can move into offseason planning with greater certainty about the future.
Signed from Boca Juniors in July of 2016 for a reported fee of nearly $6 million, the fifth-biggest in MLS history at the time, Lodeiro has been a smashing success in Seattle. His arrival immediately sparked a dramatic turnaround in his first season, powering a run to the 2016 MLS Cup title, and the Sounders have been perennial cup contenders ever since, winning again in 2019 and reaching the 2017 and 2020 finals. He's racked up 33 goals and 58 assists in 121 regular-season MLS matches to date, along with 8g/10a in postseason action.
A 2020 MLS Best XI honoree and Landon Donovan MVP award finalist, Lodeiro turns 32 in March and remains central to Seattle’s approach. Beyond his creativity and nose for goal, he’s one of the hardest-working players in the league on both sides of the ball, and the Sounders’ disappointing performance in Saturday’s MLS Cup final was undoubtedly impacted by the calf injury he was subsequently revealed to be playing through.
Seattle are prepared to bet that he’ll continue to pace their team for years to come.