Football, Futbol, Soccer

Seattle Seahawks running back, Justin Forsett, has seen plenty of soccer in the last 18 months, including a workout with Mexico's Club America.

Seattle Seahawks running back,

“I was out of my element,” laughed the jovial Seahawks running back.

Like so many others around the country, Forsett was enthralled with the US National Team and their run in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they fell to Ghana in the quarterfinals after dramatically beating Algeria to finish at the top of the Group C standings.

Two months after the tournament, he went out to CenturyLink Field and watched Fredy Montero score on a header to give Seattle a 2-1 comeback win over the Chicago Fire, exposing Forsett to all the drama that can be contained within the 90 minutes of a match.

Inspired, and with a lot of time on his hands during the NFL work stoppage, Forsett wanted to see how an NFL running back could stack up against some of the players he saw on television at the World Cup and on the field with the Sounders FC. While New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco sought out media attention during his short-lived trial with Sporting Kansas City during the work stoppage, Forsett was looking at it more as an opportunity to further his appreciation for the talents and abilities of the athletes on the pitch.

So Forsett suited up with Club America and took to the training field as they prepared for their preseason friendly with Manchester City. He warmed up with the team and went through the paces in some of their fitness work.

Known for his quickness, Forsett thought he would show off his explosiveness in one sprint drill.

Little did he know, it was just one repetition in a set of many sprints he would have to complete.

“I didn’t realize that they had to go a couple more times,” the humbled University of California product said. “They’re definitely in shape. I was impressed with the athleticism. The way they use their feet with the ball … their footwork is incredible.”

To his credit, Forsett did impress with his quickness in some of the take-away drills, frequently getting to the ball with his ability to quickly change directions.

During shooting drills, though, he reverted back to the gridiron a bit, kicking high over the crossbar like a field goal attempt. In one other drill, he went completely with his instincts, picking up the ball to run it past defenders, drawing a laugh from the players at training.

All told, Forsett gained an even greater appreciation for the skill of the top-flight soccer players in the region.

“I’ll always remember that and I’m thankful they gave me the opportunity,” he said. “Seattle is a big soccer town, so I took a liking to it. I wish I could see more. I wish the World Cup was every year.”

A 7th round draft pick of the Seahawks in 2008, Forsett worked his way from the practice squad to playing regularly in the running back rotation. He has 1,142 yards rushing in the last two seasons and has also seen time on special teams.

The Seahawks play their final preseason game Friday night at CenturyLink Field against the Oakland Raiders. They kickoff the 2011 season in San Francisco against the 49ers on Sunday, September 11.