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Victor Rodriguez happy to be rounding into form for Sounders

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The diminutive winger was everywhere for the Sounders against the Rapids

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

His goal may have only come as late insurance against the Colorado Rapids Saturday, but Victor Rodriguez had a critical role in Seattle’s win. The Spanish winger finished with a goal and an assist for the Seattle Sounders, a huge benchmark in his attempt to overcome an injury-laden season.

“I needed this game,” Rodriguez said. “I needed this result. I needed this goal. It’s very important for me and the team. Especially for me. I’ve had a hard season with injuries and I needed this game and our fans and the help of my teammates. I’m very happy for today.

“I’m not 100 percent. I know I can do a little bit more, but little by little, step by step, I’m working a lot during the week. I’m happy today because the team needed a great performance and this is big for us.”

Rodriguez created the opportunity for his goal, racing up the sideline before working a give-and-go with Kelvin Leerdam, hammering the shot to the far side of the net. His earlier assist was an inch-perfect pass to Lodeiro in the penalty area while the Uruguayan playmaker had defenders draped all over him.

Overall, Rodriguez took a match-high five shots, including three on target. The winger took 79 touches and completed 48 of his 56 passes.

A map of Victor Rodriguez’ activity against the Colorado Rapids Saturday. / mlssoccer.com

“What you see is a quality player,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said of Rodriguez. “He brings a lot of things outside just the goal and assist. What we’ve strived for is figuring out how to be goal dangerous from those wide positions. We can’t just rely on Ruidiaz, on Will, on Nico as a 10. Can Cristian and Victor be goal-dangerous? That’s always key. In that sense. It was good to see.”

Nicolas Lodeiro was glad to have Rodriguez back on the field, citing their chemistry together.

“It’s very important to play with Victor,” Lodeiro said. “The most important thing: the team needs him, not just me. It’s important to play with Victor because he has very good technique and we have good chemistry. We’re happy for his goal because we know he’s back and he can help a lot.”

Rodriguez knows he has a way to go to be fully back in form, but hopes that his performance Saturday will kick him back into action over the home stretch of the season.

“I feel very happy,” Rodriguez said. “I needed this goal because I have had a hard season. It’s very important for me, for my daughter, my family. They are my super-always. This goal is for them.”