It was a dream debut for Seattle Sounders wingback and EL Salvadorian National team player Alex Roldan. Roldan came of the bench to score a debut goal that earned his side earn a 2-0 over Guatemala in Group A of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup on Sunday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
“Everyone has been sending me messages, so I feel like I have great support behind me,” said Roldan in an exclusive postgame interview with Concacaf.com.
“I think every kid who grows up playing this sport and envisions himself in the top level wishes they have this moment. It happened for me and luckily I was able to be in a position to help the team, so I’m just happy I was able to contribute,” added Roldan.
The United States-born Roldan is fortunate enough to play his club football with his brother Cristian in Major League Soccer with the Seattle Sounders. However, at the international level, Cristian represents the U.S., while Alex is just now beginning his journey with El Salvador.
It made for a unique situation in which the two brothers were with two different national teams in two different Gold Cup games on the same night.
“My parents were actually watching my brother play in Kansas City, but they’ll be here for the next few games so I’ll be glad to have them here supporting me,” said Roldan.
SITTING IN FIRST PLACE
With the result the Cuscatlecos sit atop Group A with three points. It was a hard-fought first 45 minutes between the two sides, with El Salvador generating more chances through playmakers Joshua Perez and Juan Portillo, but unable to land something on target to trouble Guatemala MF Nicholas Hagen.
Shortly before halftime, the best chance of the half came for Guatemala on a counterattack in which Jairo Arreola had a good crack at goal, but saw his effort sail over the crossbar.
El Salvador continued to press forward and after a wayward Jairo Henriquez header in front of goal in the 55’, Portillo looked set to break the deadlock in the 61’, only to see his left-footed shot sail wide.
MF Marvin Monterroza was next to have a look at goal in the 75’ after some good work from Perez, but the Guatemalan defense would not crack.
LATE GAME HEROICS
The breakthrough would finally come in the 81’ for El Salvador, as a ball fell to the feet of Alexander Roldan, whose right-footed shot rocketed into net to hand El Salvador a 1-0
Guatemala looked to respond and Darwin Lom was presented with a chance in stoppage time, but was denied by El Salvador GK Mario Gonzalez.
El Salvador then capped off the night with a goal in the final seconds, as Joaquin Rivas took a pass from Walter Martinez and deposited a left-footed shot into net to complete the 2-0 scoreline.