Seattle Sounders FC

Alex Roldan turns down call up to El Salvador national team

Lizzy Becherano
Alex Roldan denies call up to El Salvador national team after what happened during the World Cup qualifiers.
Alex Roldan denies call up to El Salvador national team after what happened during the World Cup qualifiers. / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Seattle Sounders player Alex Roldan will not be representing El Salvador during the upcoming June international window. 

The player turned down the initial call up, citing February’s incident as the reason for stepping back. 

Roldan refers to the occurrences during the octagonal round of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers a few months back when La Selecta published a statement explaining the Salvadorian football federation had failed to pay the bonuses promised for the victory against Honduras. 

The players took action, initially threatening to boycott the subsequent match against Canada on February 2, before eventually taking the field to play as a united group for themselves. 

"As a united group, we have decided to play and give everything to keep this illusion of a country alive," the El Salvadorian players said in a statement. 

"We will play for ourselves, our families and for our fans despite having these unfortunate actions, which affect the concentration and focus that a game of this level requires."

While many of the figures present during the boycott will be returning to the national team in the upcoming days, Roldan remains adamant on taking a stand. 

El Salvador supporters, first I want to thank you for the support that I have received since the first day I joined the league. I was not called up due to what happened during the World Cup qualifiers,” Roldan said in a statement. 

“I understand that it is in the past, but I did not want to return with negative thoughts and ruin relationships. This does not mean that I will never return, I just need time to reflect on how to move forward and see change. My intentions have always been to play hard for the team, and I don't want to disrespect anyone. Thank you for understanding and supporting me.”

Head coach Hugo Perez also addressed the situation during his latest press conference in hopes to avoid any misinformation. 

“To close this chapter I want to say that Roldan is not coming because he is not happy with what happened before the game against Canada,” he said in Spanish. 

“He prefers to take some more time to digest that. But that is the reason, there is no other. Those are things that don’t have to happen, but they did. But we can’t do anything anymore, we have to turn the page and move on.”

Without Roldan, La Selecta must find another captain to lead.

His choice to sit out the international window, however, means he will be available for the Seattle Sounders as others report to national team duty.