One of the most refreshing things about Cristian Roldan is his willingness to be honest, even when it might not be in his best interests. When asked if not having any Seattle Sounders representation in the MLS All-Star Game for the first time since 2010 was something the team might use as bulletin-board material, Roldan went in the exact opposite direction.
“There a lot of quality players, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also in the middle of a really hard summer window for us and honestly it’s better that we don’t, plain and simple,” he said following Wednesday’s training session. “We need bodies, we need depth. And to have a guy travel across the country to play in a meaningless game — it’s more meaningful to have someone here and help the team in every way they can.”
Asked to clarify a bit, Roldan stuck to his guns.
“In a way, right now for me, what’s more important is making the playoffs,” he said. “For me, the team is more important, not the league. In that sense, yes. Don’t take me out of context, but in a way it’s meaningless.”
At the same time, Roldan said he’s not itching to get rid of the match. He clearly understands that it’s a valuable marketing tool for the league and admitted that it’s exciting for players to have a chance to test themselves against a team like Juventus, this year’s opponent.
“It’s an interesting game, obviously,” Roldan said. “Not a lot of leagues have it. We have so many stars in this league that’s it’s hard to take it away and then to bring in a team like Juventus with such high regard, you can’t take that away. It also brings a buzz to the league. In my opinion, you keep it, but it is a unique thing.”
Hard to argue with any of that.