Central American immigrants’ World Cup dream comes true with Cristian Roldán of Team USA (Image via Sports Illustrated)
In 2010, Cristian Roldan made his international debut for the United States with the Under-20 national team. He’d won the Gold Medal with this team, which beat France 4-0 to win the 2010 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Roldan would return to play with the United States Under-23s (U-23s), where he played in the 2011 Copa Centroamericana, where he once again claimed the Gold Medal, over Honduras, 2-0, at the 2011 Concacaf Under-23 Championship. He played in the 2nd place playoff, where Honduras would beat Costa Rica 1-0, to earn their spot at the CONCACAF U-23 Championship. The U-23s would play Mexico 2-1 in the final to win the CONCACAF title, and Roldan was named First-Team All-Concacaf for the tournament. The U-23s would also go on to win the 2011 Pan-American Games gold medal over Argentina, and the World University Games gold medal over Nigeria.
In 2012, Roldan made his second appearance for the United States, making his CONCACAF Olympic qualifying debut for the men’s national team at the 2012 Olympics, coming on as a substitute for Jozy Altidore. At the Olympics, Roldan and Altidore both made their debut with the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 1st round of the Gold Medal match against France. Altidore went on to become a captain for the U.S., and would return to the United States of America to captain the Under-20s in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Roldan would also return to the U-23s, where the Gold Medalist for Concacaf would win the 2014 FIFA U-20 World Cup, in which he scored 1 goal, helping Costa Rica to win the tournament. The U-23s would then go on to win the 2014 FIFA U-20 World Cup, beating the Netherlands 1-0. Roldan then made his return to the senior team for the first time in 7 years for the men’s national team at the 2014