Lodeiro notched four goals and eight assists in 13 regular-season games, during which Seattle went 7-2-4 en route to a once-unlikely playoff berth.
Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, who joined the club from Argentina’s Boca Juniors in late July, has been named Major League Soccer’s Newcomer of the Year following a vote of the league’s players, front offices and media.
Lodeiro notched four goals and eight assists in 13 regular-season games, during which Seattle went 7-2-4 en route to a once-unlikely playoff berth. In the postseason, the Uruguayan playmaker has scored three times in three matches, including the away goal that essentially locked up the FC Dallas series.
“I feel good. It means I started my MLS career in good form,” Lodeiro said through a translator. “I’m happy to get the prize. … I didn’t expect that it would be this way (right away). I knew that I wanted to help the team and do what I could to help the team. But I was surprised and really happy to be able to be where I am.”
Lodeiro’s influence has been notable off the field, as well, with multiple teammates crediting his presence for the shift in chemistry that inspired the Sounders’ dramatic midseason turnaround.
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Lodeiro comfortably beat out Columbus’ Ola Kamara, Los Angeles’ Jelle Van Damme and Shkelzen Gashi of the Colorado Rapids for the honor. He’s the third-ever Sounder to win the award after Fredy Montero (2009) and Mauro Rosales (2011).
“I think anybody that has followed our league has to give credit,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “He only had X amount of months versus a full season. So for him to come in and make such a dramatic impact in a shorter amount of time, it’ll well-deserved there.”