For the last 10 seasons, the Sounders have not existed without Roger Levesque.
He has become synonymous with the banner of the club, whether it be a wave passing through the club’s name or in a crest with the Space Needle.
Now, just months after his retirement, he will further cement his legacy when he is presented with the Golden Scarf before Seattle’s match against the Portland Timbers on Sunday at CenturyLink Field in a ceremony celebrating his career.
For Levesque, it’s a golden moment to put a close to a career that saw him win seven championships in ten seasons as a professional.
“I haven’t had a chance to really process the scale of that experience. I’m sure it’s going to hit me at some point,” Levesque said last week. “Having seen some of the people that they’ve honored in this capacity in the past, it’s humbling for me to even be considered in that group.”
Since retiring after the Sounders FC’s friendly match against European champions Chelsea on July 18, Levesque has done his share of traveling. He spent time in Switzerland and Germany before stopping in Maine to visit family. He even did some camping on the Olympic Peninsula before starting work on his Master’s in business at the University of Washington.
It wasn’t a decision he made rashly, having evaluated his career after each season and finally deciding to pursue his career after soccer this season.
“The whole month before and month after was a complete whirlwind. I was just trying to do it the right way,” Levesque said. “It was the right time. It took me a long time to get there, but putting in all that effort and making all those decisions along the way to get myself up to speed and to the point where I had the opportunity to make a decision meant something. It was a slow, letting-go process on the soccer side of things.”
One way Levesque has stayed involved with the team is through the club’s outreach programs.
He continues to coach at camps and clinics for youth players, something he started doing during the USL era, when he and his teammates would coach during the morning and train with the team in the afternoon. That helped build camaraderie within the team and cohesion with the community that remains among the club’s tenets into the MLS era.
Levesque has continued to carry that torch into retirement and next month will take part in the Mustache Dache – a 5K race in Magnusson Park on November 17. His efforts in the cause started last year when he got involved in Movember, where men grow mustaches to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health.
During his time with the Sounders, Levesque’s mustache became part of his lore – a key element to his character and many mustache’s – fake and authentic – will likely be spotted throughout the crowd of over 66,000 that are expected to be in attendance on Sunday.
It will be Levesque’s first time at CenturyLink Field since his send-off at the July 18 friendly with Chelsea and his first in his newest role. He played forward, in the midfield and as a defender for the Sounders in his 10 seasons in Seattle.
On Sunday he will get to be a fan.
“I miss the guys and the camaraderie, but on the soccer side, I’ve gotten right into being a fan,” he said. “I’ve been following the team and talking with the guys and still being connected. I find myself watching games on TV and just being a big fan.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 pm Pacific with national television coverage on ESPN and the local radio broadcast on 770 KTTH.