Rookie Returns Home For MLS Debut

Rookie Returns Home For MLS Debut

Mike Seamon returned to his college stomping grounds in Philadelphia and made his first league appearance Sunday against the Union.

In the 67th minute of the Sounders FC’s 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, Mike Seamon may have been on top of the world.

Playing just miles away from the Villanova campus where he played his college soccer and finished his degree in criminal justice less than two months ago, Seamon made his Major League Soccer debut, subbing on for Peter Vagenas.

Seamon made his professional debut May 26 in a friendly win over Argentina’s Boca Juniors, scoring a goal in the 70th minute.  Sunday, however, was a much different scenario in a league match on the road.

“It’s great to get in my first regular season MLS game,” Seamon said.  “The Boca Juniors game was a great experience to lead into this, but I’ve been waiting for this shot for awhile.  It was good to get in, but tough to get that result.  So it’s a bittersweet day.  But it’s nice that I was on the minds of the coaches to get me in there.”

When Seamon raced on the field it was already much different than his friendly appearance.  With over 40,000 in attendance at Qwest Field, Seamon’s adrenaline was pumping and he was exhausted within moments because of his sudden rush into the action.

Sunday he blended well with the action in a road match in hostile territory while the Union were opening their new stadium.  He even earned some praise from head coach Sigi Schmid for his debut performance.

“I thought he did alright,” Schmid said.  “We were debating who to bring on and we decided to go with him because we thought he had more size and ranginess than a guy like Nathan Sturgis did.  He didn’t hurt himself, for sure.”

While Schmid was happy with the 21-year-old’s performance on the field, teammates have liked the way he has mixed with the team, even after joining in midseason.  Seamon trained with the team after being drafted and later joined the team after finishing his degree at Villanova.

“Mike came in and has looked great,” said goalkeeper and captain Kasey Keller.  “We’ve got a good group of guys and Mike has fit in tremendously well in the short period of time he’s been with us.  Enough so that Sigi had the confidence to put him in in this situation.”

Seamon, meanwhile, was happy with his performance on the pitch and feels it was a good starting point for his MLS career.

“It’s definitely a good start.  Next time we have to start winning games,” he said.

The Sounders will face the Portland Timbers in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at PGE Park in Portland on Wednesday night before returning to MLS play over the weekend.  They will play another road game July 4 at the Home Depot Center against the LA Galaxy.