With a core of aging center midfielders in the USMNT mix, it’s about time a younger one steps into the scene. Cristian Roldan was recently named to represent the United States at next month’s Gold Cup. The 22-year-old center midfielder has been making waves in the MLS for the Seattle Sounders.
Now it is time for him to shine on the international level.
When you look at the current center midfielders in the USMNT player pool, you see a lot of older players. Roldan has a chance to prove himself to Bruce Arena during the Gold Cup and show why he should feature into future national team plans. Roldan has both the ability to play as a defensive midfielder and an attacking one. Defensively, Roldan reads the game very well, can cover for everyone, and is very smart tactically. He’s everywhere on the field, and is a complete defensive anchor.
5 - Cristian Roldan ranks in the top 5 in MLS in both tackles won/game (2.7) & duels won/game (7.6) this year (min. 10 appearances). Anchor. pic.twitter.com/eI69BwU9qg— OptaJack (@OptaJack) June 25, 2017
A very underrated attribute Roldan possesses is his passing. He is able to control the game as well as triggering the attack with excellent field vision and pinpoint distribution.
Roldan completes an average of 60 passes per game and completed 105 passes alone versus New England Revolution this past season. The game goes through Roldan, and he makes it all tick.
Recently versus New York City FC, you saw a perfect example of what Roldan can bring to the USMNT. Roldan won the ball, makes the first pass, followed the play and ended up scoring the goal.
When it is all said and done, the USMNT is getting a player who is willing and able to do the dirty work. He is going to get stuck into challenges and arial duels. He can trigger the attack. Roldan might not get all the credit he deserves, but his importance to the team will be immense.
The player the USMNT needs is an unsung hero like Roldan. His role with this team will be very important. This is his chance to become a key figure going forward and there is no doubt he takes it.