Nicolás Lodeiro’s space in Uruguay’s national team has been precarious ever since he moved to the Seattle Sounders in 2016. Fair or not, the perception seems to be that he’s lost a step since leaving South America.
With more performances like the one he turned in Sunday in Uruguay’s 4-0 win over Ecuador in their Copa America opener, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Lodeiro started and turned in what has to be one of his best-ever showings for La Celeste, scoring an absolutely spectacular goal, drawing a red card on the opposition and generally just playing very well in his first start in a competitive match since 2016. Coincidentally, that was also the last time he scored a goal.
The pure class of this goal might be enough to keep him in the starting lineup. Lodeiro controlled a pass from good friend Luis Suarez off his knee, controlled it with a touch on the outside of his left boot and then hit it far post with his left again. It was impressive enough to land him the No. 5 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.