The Seattle Sounders' midweek friendly against Boca Juniors provided several little-used players an opportunity to show what they can do.
And some made the most of it.
Now, coach Sigi Schmid will weigh that in-game production with what he sees every day in practice while crafting his starting lineup for Saturday, when Sounders FC returns to MLS play at the Colorado Rapids.
“It all matters,” Schmid said. “There are a lot of players that are great training players and can’t do it in a game. There are some guys that aren’t quite as sharp in training but get it done in a game. So, whenever you can evaluate guys in game situations it’s good. … We want to turn this good result into good results in our league games –the one in Colorado and we’ve got two at home after that.”
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Among the contributors to Seattle’s 3-0 win over the Argentine visitors on Wednesday were veteran Roger Levesque and rookie Michael Seamon.
Levesque scored the opening goal, beating everyone to a deflected ball in front of the Boca goal and chesting it across the line.
“Fredy (Montero) hit an amazing free kick, going in the top corner,” Levesque said. “Their goalkeeper makes a great save. The ball is literally bouncing across the line – that was one I wasn’t going to miss regardless of what it took to put it in.”
In his two seasons with the Sounders, Levesque has shown a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Last season, he scored two key goals along the Sounders’ path to their U.S. Open Cup title: the opener in the third-round game at Portland and the game-winner in the 86th minute of the championship game at D.C. United.
“I think maybe experience has a lot to do with it,” Levesque said Thursday as the Sounders returned to practice. “Just keep working, always be active. I’ve played a lot of years and I haven’t always scored the prettiest goals, but I seem to be in the right place at the right time. Doing the little things – get yourself in front of the goal – you have to do that at this level in order to try to get goals sometimes.”
With the Sounders ranking fourth from the bottom of MLS in goals scored, Schmid isn’t holding out for style points.
“Ugly goals count just as much as nice goals,” he said. “Upper (corner) goals score just as much as goals that are four-bouncers that go into the net, defections off the goalkeeper count the same amount of points as a full volley. We just have to be sure that we get the ball over the line.”
Still, there’s nothing wrong with goals that dazzle, and the Sounders got one of those from Seamon, their second-round pick in this preseason’s SuperDraft.
Seamon, who continues to train with the club while trying to earn a contract, received a ball in space and fired from about 25 yards out, beating Boca goalkeeper Javier Garcia.
Afterward, Schmid seemed to like Seamon’s aggressiveness in launching the shot as much as he appreciated it going in.
“That’s no problem,” Seamon said. “When you get that much space, you have to let it go. It doesn’t matter what the situation is: that much space and you have got to do it. ... I’m trying to prove something when I get in there.”
Starting defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso reinjured his right quadriceps early in the Boca game, and he appears doubtful for this weekend and perhaps longer.
“My leg hurts,” he said through a translator Thursday after sitting out the club’s training session. “… It’s really frustrating because I was recuperating for two weeks, and now it’s kind of like back to the start again: another two weeks of recuperation.”