After trading the 27th overall pick and future considerations to Real Salt Lake, the Sounders moved up and selected University of Washington midfielder Cristian Roldan with the 16th pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft Tuesday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Roldan is a two-time, All-Pac-12 first-team selection.
Seattle added two more players in the second round, selecting Northwestern goalkeeper Tyler Miller 33rd overall and New Mexico midfielder Oniel Fisher with the 40th pick. The Sounders acquired the 33rd selection via trade with the New England Revolution in exchange for future considerations.
Roldan is being added to the Sounders roster immediately while Miller and Fisher are currently unsigned SuperDraft selections.
“Today has been a rewarding experience for our technical staff and we’re pleased with the outcome,” said new Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey. “I thought we communicated well throughout the whole process, especially in a high-stress environment.
“I think that bodes very well for our future of working together, and I believe we made good decisions collectively while considering different viewpoints. We had a plan coming in and we followed it, but we were able to tweak that plan to find value where we saw it, which is what we uncovered in Cristian, Tyler and Oniel.”
A 19-year-old California native, Roldan was a two-year starter at Washington, where he started 38 of his 41 appearances, accumulating 10 goals and seven assists. He was named to the 2014 NSCAA All-America third team, the TopDrawerSoccer.com Best XI and the NSCAA All-Far West Region Team in his second season with the Huskies.
As a freshman in 2013, Roldan was the Soccer America Freshman of the Year, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and an All-Pac-12 first team selection.
“We’re happy to be able to get a deal done,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “Cristian is a guy who we’re familiar with having played at the University of Washington, so I thought that was a big plus. He’s very good technically, he’s got good vision and is a strong passer. He knows our team inside and out and he can’t wait to learn from our veteran players.”
Roldan earned 2013 Gatorade National Player of the Year honors as a senior at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, CA., leading his team to the Southern Section Division III title with a 29-2-1 record. He recorded 54 goals and 31 assists as a senior to go along with his 21 goals and 21 assists as a junior.
“I’ve been familiar with Seattle Sounders FC for two years now; I’ve practiced with the club and Seattle is my second home,” said Roldan. “You just never know what’s going to happen on draft day. It was honestly worth it because Seattle is one of the best cities in the country. It’s a soccer city and Sounders FC is a championship-caliber team.”