It’s no surprise whenever a new Nicolas Lodeiro transfer rumor pops up. Ever since the Uruguayan playmaker made his big move to Seattle from Boca Juniors in 2016, he has been one of the best players in MLS and a key figure for the Sounders. In the short time since the 2018 season ended, Lodeiro has been linked to a variety of clubs. But it’s abundantly clear that the Sounders have been building around Lodeiro since his arrival, and they have no intention of shipping him off anytime soon. In fact, Lodeiro was officially named club captain for the 2019 season after deputizing for former captain Osvaldo Alonso more than a handful of times in the last couple seasons.
Garth confirms that Nico Lodeiro is the club captain for 2019.— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) February 28, 2019
At the club’s annual Media Day at CenturyLink Field on Thursday, Lodeiro addressed the rumors again and re-affirmed his commitment to Seattle.
“It’s always good when there are rumors because it means you’re doing something good and people are noticing,” he told assembled media. “But it’s also very important that when the club considers and protects the players and makes the players feel comfortable, that helps us out too.”
Clearly Lodeiro feels respected and “protected” in Seattle, and doesn’t have any immediate plans to leave.
The Uruguayan has said many times that he feels at home in Seattle, and he echoed those sentiments on Thursday, making some of his strongest statements yet.
“Seattle is my life. I’m happy here, with the fans, with the people, so I want to show my best because the fans the deserve a good team.”
Lodeiro said that that comfort and familiarity, as well as knowing that the team sees him as an essential part of the squad, urges him to show his gratitude on the pitch.
“All those things serve as motivation, the feeling that I know the team values me and makes me want to give it all for the team and getting championships.”
When asked if the pressure on him is different or diminished in a non-World Cup year, Lodeiro said that it’s certainly different—but that doesn’t change his motivation to help the Sounders win trophies.
“We always feel the pressure to win. Maybe this year the pressure is easier because I don’t have the World Cup, but I have the Copa America. But now I only want to see the Sounders.”
As a player who is sometimes on the fringe of his national team despite consistently solid form in Seattle, Lodeiro recognized the need to improve even more to get called up by Uruguay.
“I need to play good soccer here for the national team to call me.” But even though he’s always aware of that, he emphasized that the Sounders are his main priority. “The pressure I have is always the same, I want to win every game, I want to win every cup for my team first. The second option is the national team. My pressure is to help the Sounders be a great team this season.”