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Sounders pay tribute to Nico Lodeiro

Brian Schmetzer: "He’s the type of player every coach would want on their team."

Last Updated
3 min read
Photo courtesy of Sounders FC Communications

Although his future is still officially undetermined, the Seattle Sounders left little doubt about Nicolás Lodeiro’s departure when they paid tribute on Tuesday to the most important player during the club’s most successful period during its 50 years of existence.

The timing of the tribute was ostensibly tied to the official opening of MLS free agency, but was also apparently done in consultation with Lodeiro, who participated in a tearful pre-recorded message to fans.

That was one of more than a dozen posts to various social media sites and two full stories on the team website. Several team officials also made comments thanking Lodeiro for his contributions to the Sounders.

Nicolás Lodeiro was everything we want a Sounders star to be
Nicolas Lodeiro leaves a legacy that will likely never be matched.

Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer: “What Nico has accomplished in his time with this organization is nothing short of extraordinary. We knew we had something special in 2016 when he led the club to its first MLS Cup in his first few months in Seattle, but he continued to raise the bar. Lifting the 2019 MLS Cup and 2022 Concacaf Champions League trophies in front of our home fans would not have been possible without Nico. His passion, skill and tenacity on the field are all hallmarks of what it means to be a Sounder. ‘Once a Sounder, always a Sounder’ is something I’m extremely proud to say about Nico Lodeiro, and his family will always have a special place in our community.”

Sounders president of business operations Hugh Weber: “A team doesn’t accomplish the types of things that Sounders FC has by chance. Nico Lodeiro’s leadership on the field and character off of it played an important role in each of the club’s titles since 2016. We are immensely grateful to Nico for his contributions and we wish him the best going forward.”

Sounders GM Craig Waibel: “It’s been a privilege to work with Nico over the past few seasons in Seattle. He’s a player who has commanded a tremendous amount of respect across the league since he arrived in 2016, and I’ve certainly preferred having him on my team over facing him as an opponent. Between his skilled and motivated play on the field, as well as his penchant for winning and rising in big moments, Nico should be recognized not only as a club legend, but as one of the greatest MLS players in this era.”

Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer: “As a coach and a fan it has been amazing to watch Nico Lodeiro play for Sounders FC. Since his arrival in Seattle, all he has done is win, and along the way he helped set a new bar for success in this organization. He’s the type of player every coach would want on their team – he leads by example, holds himself to the highest of standards and delivered success in the biggest moments. His technical ability and work ethic are shining examples to the young players within the group. He’s a special player, an admirable family man and a true club legend. I wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his career.”

Lodeiro has previously hinted at a preference to stay within MLS and sources have said he has already began talking to some teams. Among the teams where Lodeiro would seemingly be a good fit are Inter Miami, Orlando City and the Houston Dynamo.