A report appeared on Monday afternoon from a Twitter account that covers the Guatemala national team saying that Guatemala coach Walter Claverí was in contact with Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan and trying to bring him into the squad for an upcoming friendly with Panama.
Cristian Roldan, volante del Seattle Sounders, sería convocado por el profe Claverí, para juego vs Panamá, dice Jose del Valle, en espn— Chapín League (@ChapinLeague) August 1, 2016
Roldan has the option to represent one of three countries internationally: Guatemala, El Salvador, and the United States. The first two are available through his parents’ heritage, and he was born and raised in the United States. Former head coach Sigi Schmid discussed these options earlier this year, and revealed that he might be better off waiting until he was a bit older before making the permanent decision.
On Wednesday, Roldan confirmed the interest from Guatemala: “I spoke a little bit with [Claverí], he thinks I’m playing well and it’s certainly an option.” He said that his first priority is the Sounders, and that he doesn’t want to miss any matches as the team attempts to push back into playoff contention.
As for whether or not he still intends to wait until he’s called up to the US National team, Roldan said that those intentions have “altered a little bit, I think as of right now it’s stayed the same.” It certainly seems that Roldan is waiting for a chance with his home country, and spend time establishing himself as a starter with the Sounders the Sounders in the meantime. He said that “I want to continue to improve myself as a professional and hopefully I can get more call-ups from all my options.”
Speaking of his role with the Sounders, Roldan seems content to play as well as he can, wherever coach Schmetzer asks him to play. With new signing Nicolas Lodeiro on the pitch, Roldan says that it changes things in that “anytime you see him asking for the ball you give it to him, he’s a little like Clint in that he wants the ball at all times.” Lodeiro seems to boost the team in that he can “wiggle” his way out of trouble and is able to help the Sounders keep possession even when under pressure.
Having Osvaldo Alonso next to him in midfield certainly helps too, and Roldan was quick to praise the veteran’s vast skill set. “Ozzie makes it super easy. He communicates very well, he’s a good player defensively, but people don’t recognize how good of a passer he is and how he dribbles out of pressure.” It’s obvious to anyone watching Roldan that he’s benefited greatly from playing alongside Alonso, and it would surely be great for the Sounders if he is able to develop into a player of Alonso’s mold.
Roldan’s great friendship with rookie Jordan Morris has been pretty obvious too, and the second-year midfielder seems as in awe of Morris’ abilities as the rest of us. He doesn’t see Morris’ one-footedness as much of an issue, and said that Morris “has been training on his left foot since he got here, obviously it takes time to develop a left foot of Clint’s caliber. But it’ll take time.” Roldan believes that Morris has “established” himself into the team already, leading the team with goals in the season so far, and that he’s already “developing other qualities, like his left foot.”