Cristian Roldan was the Soccer America and Pac-12 freshman of the year whose seven goals and five assists helped lead the University of Washington to the NCAA quarterfinals.
He had recently gotten called up to a camp with the under-20 United States national team.
But when MLS came calling with a Generation Adidas contract last January, he hesitated.
“Last year, I wasn’t ready,” Roldan said.
In the wake of his strong performance for the Portland Timbers U-23 squad against the MLS Homegrown team alongside Huskies teammates James Moberg and Andy Thoma, that may be changing.
“I do believe that I can now play on that (MLS Homegrown) side,” he said. “I’m confident enough.”
Here’s what else he had to say after last night’s match at Providence Park.
On his improvements since the last collegiate season: “Just making smarter decisions. Knowing where I’m at on the field, where my players are.”
On UW coach Jamie Clark: “He’s made me a better player. I appreciate what he does.”
On his favorite MLS team: “I like styles. I think LA Galaxy, Seattle, Portland, they all play on the ground. I think I’ll be successful in teams that play just like that.”
On freshman year with the Huskies: “I think scoring a couple goals gave me confidence, getting called up to the national team definitely gave me confidence. You just need to get used to the speed of play. Also give credit to the Sounders and to Portland for bringing me in and giving me the necessary tools to master here at a professional level.
“Hopefully I can be in MLS one day.”