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Victor Rodriguez joins Spain’s Elche

Midfielder will play in the Spanish second division.

Victor Rodriguez will officially be playing in his native Spain again. Elche FC — currently the sixth place team in Spain’s second division — announced Rodriguez’s signing on Thursday. Rodriguez spent the 2014-15 season with Elche when they were in La Liga, the most recent year they were in the top division.

Following a MLS Cup MVP-winning performance in his final appearance for the Seattle Sounders, it quickly became apparent that Rodriguez was most interested in returning to Spain. The Sounders could have theoretically blocked the move if they had picked up his option, but it appears their decision to decline it was by mutual consent. Prior to joining the Sounders in 2017, Rodriguez had spent his entire life in Spain and after his daughter was born with health complications, he had expressed a desire to be closer to family.

Although he wasn’t able to stay as healthy as he would have liked — playing in a little more than half of all possible games during his tenure with Seattle — Rodriguez said he enjoyed his time with the Sounders and clearly felt the love reciprocated from fans.

“With just a ‘thank you’ I simply fall short,” Rodriguez told Niko Moreno in December. “I don’t know if there is a word which can accurately express the gratitude I have for all of the love and support they gave me. The truth is that I always tried to give them 100 percent of me when I was there and all my affection toward them. There isn’t a word to describe my affection for them, I’m just very grateful to every one of them and from the distance, I will always follow Seattle as well as all the Seattle fan base.”

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