SEATTLE — Roger Levesque called it the “scuba dive.” After pilfering New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton to seal Seattle’s 4-2 victory, the Sounders fan favorite sat on the sign boards, plugged his nose, and tipped over backwards.
“I didn’t really expect it to knock the wind out of me,” a jovial Levesque said after the match.
The touch of playfulness exemplifies Levesque, who continues to be a key member of the Sounders squad at age 30. Used occasionally for spot starts, he is primarily a reserve who shines brightest in US Open Cup and Champions League matches. He got his chance on the big stage Thursday, turning a tense 2-2 match into a 4-2 victory with a pair of goals.
Scoring first off a corner kick and then again off Sutton’s mistake, Levesque’s brace gave Seattle its second consecutive victory.
For Sigi Schmid’s team, the unbeaten streak now stands at five matches with a vulnerable New England team coming to town Sunday. After winning 1-0 with 10 men last weekend, Schmid lauded his team for finding different ways to beat New York.
He also gave credit to Levesque, who replaced Mike Fucito in the 58th minute.
“[Levesque is] a player who’s very good in the air,” Schmid said. “He’s good on corner kicks. When he came in, we told him to be the guy to take that near post run.”
For Levesque, a fan favorite who doubles as Portland’s most-hated Sounder, the smile on his face said it all. Kasey Keller said he “loves it when good things happen to good people, and that quote fits Levesque, who now has five goals to his credit in MLS play.
Having the latest pair of tallies come before Seattle’s largest regular season crowd of 46,065 was an added bonus.
“The atmosphere was awesome, it was electric,” Levesque said. “Scoring four goals as a group and getting a win, hopefully we gave those people a reason to come back.”
Levesque recently earned some additional notoriety in the club’s “Date With A Sounder” advertising campaign, which features Levesque among other players in faux personal ads.
In his TV spot, Levesque said he’d show “a pirate face” if he scored a goal. Sure enough, video screen captures proved that the face could be seen through the arms of his teammates as he celebrated one of his two goals.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS