Since arriving in Seattle — marking the turning point of the Seattle Sounders’ MLS Championship season and taking the league by storm with his iconic celebration after every goal — Nicolas Lodeiro has sculpted his name in stone somewhere along the foundation of this franchise. The Charrua’s commitment to this organization went beyond the field. At one point, he was openly contemplating not only retiring a Sounder but also taking on a coaching role to develop young Academy players.
But going into his third year in the MLS, Lodeiro’s plans are not as clear as they once were.
“Yeah, initially that was the plan,” he said earlier this month. “But you know how subjective to change soccer can be. If something great comes along, something better to continuing growing, then you have to consider it.
“I am happy here, but if other personal objectives come along and there are better opportunities, then you have to rearrange your plans.”
Although the Sounders’ No. 10 is happy with his current situation in the Pacific Northwest, he is not opposed to the idea of taking his talent elsewhere if the right offer comes along, a narrative that has lingered since the offseason when rumors of his possible return to Boca Juniors came to light and Nico himself had mentioned he would have considered the option.
“Yeah, earlier this year there were several reports of a possible to return to Boca,” Lodeiro said. “To be honest, it made me very happy. I was eager to go back and once again play Copa Libertadores.
“I think Boca is a wonderful team to whom you cannot say no and there is always a desire to play there again because I have great affection for that fan base as well as for the club and it’s magnitude.”
There is no doubt that despite all the love the Uruguayan international has shown the Rave Green, there will always be a special place in his heart for the Xeneizes and Club Nacional. But until now, there have been no official offers for Lodeiro, who Sounders will more than likely try to hold on to for at least a couple more years.
What does it mean?
Despite those feelings, Lodeiro is clear that he is still committed to the Sounders.
“One thing has nothing to with the other,” Lodeiro stated with assertiveness. “I can have a special affection for Boca and Nacional, but I am devoted to the Sounders. I am all in here and 100 percent focused on continuing to succeed. The goals here have not changed; win CONCACAF Champions, win the league, win the Open Cup that I was unable to play last year. Bottom line, I want to continue wining as long as I’m here.” The midfielder also added, “On a personal level, do so well here that maybe I can earn a spot, fight for a spot, to go to Russia, because going to a World Cup is everyone’s dream.”
With this extra motivation, it is undeniable that Seattle will get the best version of Nicolas Lodeiro this season. He has played 58 of 60 regular season games since he’s been here, and has never given any reason to doubt his commitment to this team, so why start now?
For now, Lodeiro continues to work on recovering from the mid-foot sprain he suffered prior to the team’s game in Guadalajara. His progress over the last few weeks has been outstanding and I would pencil him in to be in the 18 for Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact.