SEATTLE, WA— (Sounders release) Seattle Sounders FC today announced the signing of midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro as the club’s newest Designated Player. The 27-year-old midfielder comes to Seattle from Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors, where the Uruguayan international has spent the last two seasons. Overall the attacking playmaker brings more than a decade of topflight international football experience to Seattle in both South America and Europe, in addition to two FIFA World Cup campaigns with the Uruguayan National Team. Most recently, Lodeiro represented his country at the Copa America Centenario this summer in the United States. He is being added to Sounders FC’s roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Clearance.
“We have doggedly pursued our top target, Nicolás Lodeiro, for the past several months and we are delighted our persistence finally paid off with his signing. We were willing to wait for Nico because we believe in his character off the field as well as his abilities on it,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Wherever he has played he has made his team better. We believe he can be a big piece of where we want to take the Sounders long-term. For a player who has played in three Copa Americas, winning once, played in two World Cups and played in four Copa Libertadores, twice reaching the semifinal, to join us in the prime of his career reflects the growing stature of not only Seattle, but MLS as a whole.”
Lodeiro joins Sounders FC following a decade of professional experience in South America and Europe. After coming up through the youth system of Uruguayan side Nacional, Lodeiro made his professional debut with the club as an 18-year-old in 2007, going on to make 43 appearances over three seasons, scoring nine goals and helping his hometown team to the 2008-2009 Copa Libertadores Semifinals.
The Paysandú, Uruguay native then moved to Dutch side Ajax – joining countryman Luis Suárez – appearing 21 times for the Amsterdam power, helping the club to its 31st Eredivisie title. In July of 2012, Lodeiro moved back to South America, joining Botafogo in the Brazilian topflight for three seasons and leading the Rio de Janeiro-based club to its first Copa Libertadores appearance in 18 years.
After moving to Corinthians for one season, Lodeiro signed with storied Argentine side Boca Juniors in 2015. He made 21 appearances with three goals in 2015, leading los Xeneizes to the Argentine Primera División title and a Round of 16 appearance at the Copa Libertadores. Lodeiro had three goals in nine appearances this season for Boca Juniors, with the club tied for 10th place on 20 points (5-5-6).
“The last several months allowed an opportunity for our staff to scour the globe to bring a high-caliber player to the Emerald City, and we are confident we have found one in Lodeiro,” said Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “Lodeiro has proven himself to be an excellent player, fantastic teammate and beloved fan-favorite at every stage of his professional career, and we are very excited to have him as part of our organization.”
Lodeiro is a regular on the Uruguayan National Team, compiling 48 caps and three goals since making his debut in 2010. His first appearance for Uruguay came in the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL 2010 FIFA World Cup Playoff, where he played both legs and was named player of the match in the second leg. He appeared in both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He has also appeared in three Copa America tournaments, most recently representing Uruguay at the 2016 Copa America Centenario. Lodeiro led Uruguay to the 2011 Copa America championship with a win in the final over Paraguay.
After a three-match road swing across all competitions, Sounders FC concludes a packed month of July with its second full-stadium contest of the season at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, July 31. ESPN is broadcasting the match nationally at 1:00 p.m. PT, with KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and El Rey 1360 AM providing regional radio coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC signs midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro as a Designated Player on July 27, 2016.
Name: Nicolás Lodeiro
Born: March 21, 1989
Hometown: Paysandú, Uruguay
Jersey Number: 10
Acquired: Signed on July 27, 2016 as a Designated Player