TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan feels that the club is prepared to take on the daunting task it faces to reach the playoffs, which Sounder At Heart recently charted out. Bolstered by recent results and the arrival of Raúl Ruidíaz, the 23-year-old believes that Seattle can begin another miraculous run to make the postseason and beyond.
“I think it’s been much more positive in the locker room coming off three — not necessarily our best games — but result-driven games that have been pretty good,” Roldan said Wednesday. “We’re excited that we’re back home for the majority of this month. It’s that crunch time to really continue in this fashion. We understand that MLS is a difficult league, especially when you go away from home, so we’re content with five points from three road trips.”
Currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, four teams and 11 points separate the Sounders from the red line, below which exists only misery and spending too much time around relatives when the postseason hits.
Still, the next two weeks have Seattle playing three teams in the West that currently also sit below the line (Vancouver, San Jose and Minnesota), with every match comes a critical chance to gain points. Throw in a chance to take down New York City FC in a nationally-televised home game July 29 and the Sounders could be looking at a very different reality by Aug. 5.
Roldan pointed to the past two seasons, which saw the team overcome similar early slumps to reach consecutive MLS Cups.
“In a perfect world we wouldn’t want to be in this situation,” Roldan said. “We’d want to be Supporters’ Shield winners at this point, but it’s something that we pride ourselves on. We never quit. The pressure is high here within our culture, with our fans.
“The players understand that and we have a job to do and that’s fulfill our needs, the city’s needs and the fans’—the supporters that mean so much to us. All that said, I think it’s a tough situation to be in, but we’re more than capable of doing it and I think that we can do it again.”