1675462716 origin 1

Cristian Roldan reflects on ‘different role’ within USMNT at Worlds 2022

origin 1

By Lizzy Becherano

Many were shocked when Cristian Roldan made the United States men’s national team List of 26 players for the World Cup.

Although the Seattle Sounders player participated in World Cup qualifiers and several friendlies in the months leading up to the international tournament, he remained seen as an occasional substitute.

On November 9, manager Gregg Berhalter announced the squad headed to Qatar, shockingly omitting Paul Arriola, Ricardo Pepi and Jordan Pefok and instead opting for the likes of Jordan Morris and Roldan.

But despite landing a ticket to the coveted international competition, the Seattle star knew his place. She didn’t need to talk to Berhalter about a potential “limited role” in Qatar to assume her position.

“No, I have not spoken to Gregg Berhalter about my role in Qatar before the World Cup. But I felt like I knew what I was getting into, but things change, Roldan said in an interview with 90 minutes.

“Who knows, if I had shown up playing really really really well I might have had a bigger role in the team. But things change and the most important thing for me was to be on that roster and on that plane to Qatar.

“My role was a little different than many players, I wasn’t able to see the pitch. But at the same time I felt like an important part of the team. Being there, in itself, was a dream of mine. So to be able to be out there in Qatar and deal with what we went through was really special. We had a great team, I felt like we left everything out there and that was the most important thing.

He failed to participate in any of the group stage matches, nor in the round of 16 against the Netherlands. Roldan, on the other hand, played a supporting role, inspiring players in the dressing room and making an emotional impact from the sidelines.

“It’s a role that can often be overlooked, because we have such good players on the pitch and they are playing with their hearts. But it’s nice to know that my role, who I am as a person, has a big impact on the team. I am happy to hear that I have done my part. The team is full of amazing human beings, I’m just glad we were able to experience that together,” she added.

The USMNT has started a new World Cup cycle in 2023, with several friendlies and Concacaf tournaments planned to give Roldan another opportunity to hit the world stage. While he didn’t make the January camp, the Seattle Sounders player is focused on a strong performance at the FIFA Club World Cup to keep USMNT officials’ attention.

This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Cristian Roldan reflects on ‘different role’ within USMNT at Worlds 2022 .