Roger Levesque started at right back in an MLS match against New England on Saturday, partly because coach Sigi Schmid wanted to keep his starting back line fresh for the U.S. Open Cup final against Chicago on Tuesday.
However, Schmid said the position switch could happen again, and that he can imagine Levesque ending his career as a defender.
“There’s a lot of guys who have made transitions like that,” Schmid said. “Chris Albright was a little bit younger, but Chris, when he came to me in L.A. in 2002, was still 23-24 and we switched him from a forward to a right back and got him onto the World Cup team. Roger’s a little older … but he’s got quality, and he’s tactically sound, so he can do that.”
Levesque, 30, is listed as a forward on the Seattle roster, but he also has played midfield. And he sees adding defensive duties as just another part of his long-held philosophy of doing whatever will help the team.
“The most important thing is, I think, we won the game,” he said. “… I feel like I’m at a point where anything I can do to get on the field – whether it’s at forward, whether it’s out wide, at midfield, whether it’s playing in the back – it’s just a little bit different mind-set, and I feel like I’m becoming more and more comfortable with each of the spots.”
Levesque said he had been alerted early last week that he might be needed at right back, depending on the health of James Riley (concussion). He learned on Friday that he would start.
Seattle’s defense began with some early wobbles, including giving up the game’s first goal on a poorly marked corner. But it pitched a shutout the rest of the way in what became a 2-1 victory.
The Sounders returned to training Sunday afternoon, despite their early morning return from a three-country, two-competition, 9,000-mile road trip. And as soon as they left the training pitch at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, they were replaced by the Fire. … The availability of midfielder Mauro Rosales (knee) will be a game-time decision, while the club might decide on Riley today. … General manager Adrian Hanauer said he expects a crowd of around 35,000 for the final. The Hawks Nest seating section in the north end will be open, but club isn’t currently selling upper deck seats. That will change if necessary to meet demand, Hanauer said.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer