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Nicolas Lodeiro leaves Seattle Sounders after eight seasons

Nicolas Lodeiro has left Seattle Sounders after an unforgettable eight seasons at Lumen Field, with the midfielder’s contract set to expire at year’s end.

It seems as if was just yesterday when the Uruguay international joined the Western Conference side in 2016, as his addition was crucial to Seattle capturing the 2016 MLS Cup title over Toronto FC.

The 34-year-old took to life in MLS like a duck to water, scoring four goals and dishing out eight assists in 13 appearances in his first half-season in the league.

From that moment on, Lodeiro reigned supreme as one of the best attacking midfielders the league has ever seen. 2018 saw him total career highs in goals (eight) and assists (16), while he led Seattle to MLS Cup glory again in 2019 over TFC as well as the team’s first-ever Concacaf Champions League win in 2022 over Liga MX’s Pumas.

The Sounders also took home four Western Conference championships with Lodeiro leading the charge in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Lodeiro, the club captain, would go on to make 231 appearances across all competitions as a Sounder, scoring 58 goals and adding 95 assists (the most in club history).

“As a coach and a fan, it has been amazing to watch Nico Lodeiro play for Sounders FC,” Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a release.

“Since his arrival in Seattle, all he has done is win, and along the way he helped set a new bar for success in this organization. He’s the type of player every coach would want on their team – he leads by example, holds himself to the highest of standards and delivered success in the biggest moments,” he said.

Nicolás Lodeiro

Lodeiro is leaving Seattle / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

“His technical ability and work ethic are shining examples to the young players within the group. He’s a special player, an admirable family man and a true club legend. I wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his career.”

It will be extremely difficult for Seattle to replace a player like Lodeiro, and Schmetzer may look to lean on Albert Rusnak to continue his development in the No. 10 role. The Slovakia international has stepped up in recent seasons to play his part in the Sounders’ success and Seattle fans will hope he can make the position his own after Lodeiro’s departure.

“I want to say I tried to do my best every game, every minute that I played in front of you,” Lodeiro said in an emotional tribute on X. “Sometimes I was good, sometimes bad, but it’s part of my sport. But trust me, I did all I can do for them. And I hope they can enjoy my time here.”

Lodeiro went on to explain that the love he’s felt from Seattle extends far beyond just him:

“This club means something special for [my family], forever. They love the club. I received love from the people, friends, fans. They leave letters and our family is very emotional. In the end, we are happy because we did a great job and all people recognize us, my job.”

Above all, Lodeiro wants the Sounders faithful to know that he will always be a Sounder no matter where the next chapter of his career takes him.

“I don’t want them to feel bad if they see me play in another club,” he said. “It’s part of my career. But I want them to know the Sounders will always be a part of my life.”

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