At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, it is easy to notice Christian Sivebæk on a soccer field.
If his size and strength don’t catch your eye, surely his blazing speed will. On Saturday, in his first start in Major League Soccer for the Sounders FC, Sivebæk gave the Seattle fans a taste of what he has to offer, beating his defender time and time again to the end-line to whip crosses into the box.
It didn’t result in any goals for the Sounders in their 1-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, but it was a good experience for the 24-year-old Danish midfielder.
“I hoped to start against Houston, but I got my chance this time and I think I did a good job, especially in the first 20 minutes,” he said. “I was pretty happy. I thought it was a stable first start.”
Sivebæk was dangerous early in the match, threatening the San Jose defense with nearly every touch in the first 20 minutes. In the early stages it looked like Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid’s move to put Sivebæk into the lineup in place of the injured Mauro Rosales instead of Roger Levesque, who got the nod one week earlier against the Houston Dynamo, would pay off.
However, some of the bite was taken out of his attack after the Earthquakes went up 1-0 and were able to sit back and defend. Veteran left back Ramiro Corrales, as well as his second-half replacement Jason Hernandez, also made adjustments after getting an extended look at his style.
“We felt that Sivebæk could present more problems to Corrales on the defensive end of the field. I thought early on in the game he definitely created some good situations for us,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “He’s in and out of the game a little bit, so you have to deal with that as well as a team, but I thought offensively he created some good moments for us. He got in behind, got to the end-line, hit some good crosses and I just thought his one-on-one abilities would help us better than Roger’s out there.”
With it being unlikely that Rosales will be ready to face DC United in a road match on Saturday, Schmid will be left with that same decision this week.
Sivebæk, for one, was pleased with his efforts despite the end result, particularly considering it was the first time he got to start in front of the 38,458 at CenturyLink Field.
“It was a good experience in front of a big home crowd,” he said. “We didn’t get the win, but it was still a good experience.”
The Sounders travel to the nation’s capital on Thursday and will face DC United on Saturday. The match can be seen live on KONG 6/16, with the radio broadcast on 97.3 KIRO FM. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 pm Pacific Time.