Tukwila – Sounders duo Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan have confirmed a long-term contract extension with the club. The deals, which are expected to be five-year contracts, make it possible for the Stars to retire from Major League Soccer after playing for only one team.
The Sounders are expected to make an announcement this week.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Morris’ base salary for the 2022 season was $1.2 million, according to figures provided by the MLS Players Association. Roldan’s base was $860,000 last year.
“I’m excited to get it done pre-season and I’m grateful to be staying in Seattle,” said Morris, 28, after training Wednesday at Starfire Sports in Tukwila. The Mercer Island graduate joined the Sounders as an academy player in 2013 and signed for the first time as a domestic player in 2016 after the Stanford tournament.
Roldan, 27, a native of California, caught the attention of the Sounders as a player at the University of Washington. Selected 16y Overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
“There was interest, but I always felt I wanted to be here,” said Roldan on whether he was considering playing elsewhere. “There was outside noise. In the end, we solved something that I think we’re really happy about. I’ve said it many times, this is my home. This is where I grew up and my reception was great and wonderful. To be able to stay here for another five years is very special.”
The players were entering the final year of five-year contracts signed in 2018. There was a belief that either of them might leave because they wanted to be called after certain players – which would allow for more money within the MLS salary cap structure.
Sounders striker Raul Ruidias, midfielder Nico Lodero and midfielder Albert Rusnak are the team’s designated forwards.
“The rating doesn’t matter,” Morris said. “I’m here to help the team and do my best to improve the team, so hiring definitely doesn’t matter. Things have worked to make me definitely feel valued here and I’m just excited.”
Last season was Morris’s first after another ACL tear. He had 10 goals and five assists in all competitions but struggled to finish the season. The creative forward has notched up just one goal in Seattle’s last 12 games, and the club has missed the playoffs for the first time since joining MLS in 2009.
Roldán had a great start to the 2022 season, cementing the club’s historic CONCACAF Champions League victory, and leading the tournament with eight assists. He scored five goals and 11 assists in all competitions but was out for about a month with a sports hernia that had to be surgically repaired.
Morris and Roldan were selected to the US men’s national team that competed in the FIFA Men’s World Cup tournament in Qatar. Morris played a total of three minutes in the four matches, and the USMNT lost to the Netherlands in the knockout round. Roldan did not play in any of the games.
With the contracts signed, Roldan and Morris will focus on leading the Sounders to the Club World Cup in Morocco next month. Seattle will play the winner of the seven-team tournament opener between Auckland City (New Zealand) and Al-Ahly (Egypt) on February 1.
The Sounders match will kick off at 9:30 am on February 4 at Ibn Battuta Stadium in Tangier.
“This is the list with which we won the Champions League,” said Roldan. “People kind of ignore that piece of it. Our team is really good and it’s good enough to compete at a high level.”
Thomas is promoted
Sounders goalkeeper Andrew Thomas was able to take a field practice on Wednesday for the first time in six months. He suffered a lower back fracture last summer and had “minimally invasive” surgery in September.
“The doctor has allowed him to start goalkeeping training,” said Sounders coach Brian Schmitzer. “That was kind of positive news today.”
Thomas did not make his MLS debut. The former Stanford star started 12 games with the Tacoma Defiance last season, recording 39 saves.
Schmetzer intends to travel to Morocco with the entire five-man Rangers unit, including Thomas.
The Sounders will play a brawl in Starfire on Thursday and travel to Spain on Saturday where the team will play in two brawls against Spanish clubs. Schmitzer expects to hold a training camp in the last three days in Tangiers.
“The physique was done,” Schmetzer said. “We’ll adjust some tactics, set-pieces, things like that (in Spain).”
Leyva quickly stopped
Sounders midfielder Danny Leyva is currently training with the US U-20 youth national team and will join Seattle in Spain. The USMNT also has camp this month, but clubs are not required to release players as it is not an official FIFA window. Maurice and Roldan were not called.
listen to this
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has agreed that the communication between the stadium referee and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be broadcast to the public, both in the stadium and via broadcast stations. The change to allow more transparency will be tested for 12 months, starting with the Club World Cup in Morocco.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) announced on Wednesday at its annual business meeting in London. The successful introduction of the semi-automated infiltration technique used in Qatar is discussed and could be adapted.