Sounders Prove Malleable In Win
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
With two key starters out of the lineup, Roger Levesque and Zach Scott changed the style of the right side, but not the result in a 2-0 win over Houston.
One of Seattle’s strengths going in to the 2012 season was their creativity and ability on the right side of the field. In defender Adam Johansson and midfielder Mauro Rosales, they have a veritable attacking force.
However, both were unavailable for Friday night’s match with the Houston Dynamo and Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid was left look to his bench for replacements.
Knowing that he couldn’t plug two players into those key positions in Seattle’s attack and maintain the same style of play with the same effectiveness, Schmid brought on veterans Roger Levesque and Zach Scott and shifted the focus of Seattle’s right side.
“It becomes a different game when those two guys are out,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “You know what you're going to get every time from those two it's going to be hard, solid work. Is it as creative? No. Are the crosses coming in? No. But defensively it helps out a lot especially against a team with Brad Davis who was one of the best players in the league and he'll probably do the same this year. He was not a non-factor but the guys did very well defensively against him.”Scott and Levesque both came to the Sounders during the USL era, winning two USL championships before earning contracts with the Sounders FC in MLS in 2009.
Neither has been a regular starter for the team, but they have filled in admirably when called upon.
Both saw limited playing time in 2009 and 2010, then saw a jump in their minutes in 2011. Scott played 12 matches in 2011, starting nine for 864 minutes while Levesque had three goals and two assists while starting nine of the 19 matches he appeared in for 1,062 minutes.
“Well, obviously we thought Zach Scott was a good choice at right back because he's going to win those aerial duels and those battles and I think he helped us defensively, for sure,” Schmid said. “Roger is never going to short you on work-rate.”
With 2011 MLS MVP finalist Brad Davis to contend with on the defensive right side, Schmid got exactly what he hoped from the tireless workers, Scott and Levesque.
“I thought both of the guys did what they needed to do in terms of the effort they put in. I thought they did a good job of bottling up Brad Davis. I didn't think you saw a whole lot of Brad Davis,” Schmid said. “That was really a responsibility of Zach and Roger and I thought they did a good job there.”
Rosales and Johansson may or may not be available when the Sounders host the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday, but either way, Schmid can be confident that his club has the resiliency to respond.