Timbers' top enemy Levesque may feature from start
TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle striker Roger Levesque may get a chance to show the Timbers Army his pirate face.
After being named to the starting XI vs. New England and the LA Galaxy, coach Sigi Schmid intimated that the energetic forward may be in line for his third consecutive start on Sunday against Portland (4 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes).
Asked Thursday if he would consider Levesque’s history with the Portland Timbers when making his decision this week, Schmid said, “Sure, if things are close. And he’s a guy who is in form and it’s a close competition between him or another player, then yeah, it’s something you definitely take into consideration.
“I thought Roger’s played well over the past three games that he’s been out there — the one as a reserve and the other two as a starter. Even in LA I thought he did a good job of holding the ball up for us. So right now, he’s holding onto that spot, for sure.”
Levesque has performed well in his two games in the starting lineup. The striker possesses the physical fitness to press opponents for 90 minutes without requiring a substitution. If the Sounders’ game plan involves cutting off service to the opposing fullbacks and forcing the center backs to make decisions, Levesque’s energy could be useful.
He’s also provided a welcome scoring punch to a forward line that has struggled to find the net in recent matches. Prior to those two recent starts, Levesque scored twice in a substitute appearance against the New York Red Bulls.
However, he arguably leads the league in one category: entertaining goal celebrations.
After his first goal against New York, the zany Levesque displayed his “pirate face” in homage to the Sounders Video Dating ad campaign. After his second, his “SCUBA diver” celebration was shown extensively on ESPN the following day.
Goal celebrations are nothing new to the Portland, Maine, native. In the 2009 US Open Cup, Levesque and Nate Jaqua mimicked felling a tree after Levesque scored on a diving header.
Incidents such as those ensure the player loved by Seattle fans is despised in equal measure by Portland Timbers fans. While Levesque said he doesn’t have anything planned for this weekend, there’s one thing he won’t do:
“I’m not going to pick a fight with Timber Joey,” Levesque said, "especially if he’s got that chainsaw fired up."
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS