His Own Drummer
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Roger Levesque gained acclaim for his goal celebrations, but there is more to his story than his wacky post-goal antics.
To many Sounders FC fans, Roger Levesque has become widely known and renowned for three glorious goal celebrations.
Being chopped down by Nate Jaqua when he scored 48 seconds into Seattle’s Open Cup victory over the Portland Timbers in 2009.
His pirate face routine after netting a running header against the New York Red Bulls in June of 2011.
And taking the scuba plunge off the back of the advertising boards after scoring his second goal in that same game, a celebration that was replayed often on SportsCenter as one of the top celebrations in all of sports in 2011.
Those well-planned celebrations are just one small corner in the complex picture of Roger Levesque.
“I don’t consider myself one of the most creative guys in the world, so to have that following me around is actually kind of funny,” he laughed through a shaggy combination of long hair and beard that reminded one teammate of an Owen Wilson character. “I want to bring attention to the Sounders in a positive light. That’s one of those things that people have been able to get excited about.”
The Stanford University product has a long history in Seattle, playing for the Sounders in the USL from 2003-2008 before being among a select few who moved with the club from the USL to the MLS level in the Sounders FC’s inaugural season in 2009.
In six seasons with the USL club, he tallied 27 goals and 16 assists in 130 matches and played key roles on the championship winning sides in 2005 and 2007.
With the MLS club, he’s been more of a role-player, filling in at forward, in the midfield and occasionally as a right back. That versatility has possibly extended his MLS career, but has also become the subject of some laughs during different training sessions.
In one recent session, head coach Sigi Schmid split the team into forwards, midfielders and defenders to work on more position-specific tactics. Torn between the three groups, some suggested that Levesque do parts of the session with each group. He even suggested putting on the gloves and going with the goalkeepers, furthering the joke.
Although he ended up with the forward group, working on finishing for the session, his focus in training camp has been primarily as a right back.
“I’m trying to get more and more comfortable playing in the back and living up to the role that the coaches set out for me,” he said.
While right back may be a less glamorous position than that of the goal-scoring forward or midfielder that has kept Levesque in the professional ranks for nine seasons, it doesn’t deter him in the least.
Even if it means the goal celebrations will become fewer and further in between. After all, he still hasn’t come up with anything for his next goal.
“If someone wants to talk about the next goal celebration, I’m open to suggestions,” he said. “People out there are way more creative than I am.”