The Sounders have re-signed Alex Roldan, who has switched positions from midfielder to defender, to a first-team contract, the team announced Tuesday.

“We’re excited to bring back Alex for another season in Seattle and see how he does at a new position,” said Garth Lagerwey, Sounders general manager and president of soccer, in a news release. “He has been a great pro these past two seasons, and his experience with our club will allow us to be flexible with him on the field.”

Seattle declined Roldan’s option following the 2019 MLS season after he started five of his nine matches last year at midfield and tallied one assist in 442 minutes.

During training camp, Roldan, 23, lined up at right back to address one of the Sounders’ areas of need as he heads into his third professional season.

“(Alex’s) grasping the position,” coach Brian Schmetzer said earlier this month. “He has some of those attacking principles that we like. Now can he get some of the toughness, the meanness, the little bit of bite, edge to his game defensively? So far, he’s done well.”

The Sounders drafted Roldan, a Pico Rivera, California, native whose brother is midfielder Cristian Roldan, out of Seattle University with the 22nd pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

Seattle begins 2020 play Thursday in the CONCACAF Champions League against Honduran powerhouse CD Olimpia at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The Sounders’ MLS opener is March 1 against the Chicago Fire.