24 Under 24 - 2016 - Cristian Roldan

Cristian Roldan | 24 Under 24

#24

Cristian Roldan

AGE: 21

COUNTRY: United States

POSITION: Midfielder

CLUB: Seattle Sounders

YEARS PRO: 2

The second-year pro has become a key cog in the Sounders' midfield, and the more he plays for Seattle, the more options he has internationally. After two appearances for the US Under-20 national team in 2015, Roldan was contacted by Guatemala in 2016 about possibly playing in a friendly match. The California native and University of Washington product is eligible to play for Guatemala, El Salvador or the United States.

The 5-foot-8 midfielder seems intent on waiting a little longer before deciding which country to play for on the international circuit, and in the meantime is focusing on continuing to establish himself with the Sounders. He's done just that in 2016, scoring three goals with three assists in 27 games (22 starts) as Seattle chase a playoff spot.

What the technical staffers say:

“I liked him before he really started to play on a regular basis. He’s a midfielder that can change the play, switch it from side to side well. He’s got a good range of passing. He’s one that you don’t necessarily think he’s a great athlete, but he covers the pitch well and puts his foot in. He can mix it up tackling, but he’s also got the technical side as well. I think he’s a very good player, and I think he’ll end up being an even better player in the league.”

“He’s a natural footballer. He will progress as he gains more and more games and more and more confidence in the league. I think he’ll develop as he matures. The one thing you could say is that his ability to penetrate, not just with his passes but with his runs, could be get better.”

“His work and competitiveness are absolutely excellent. He never backs down. He plays 90 minutes at 100 miles per hour. That’s still really valuable in our league, but he needs to improve technically. He’s gotten better at seeing passes, but he needs to improve his touch and control of the ball if he’s going to make it to the national team level.”


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