Sounders Insider

Levesque atop Schmid list of improved players

Coach Sigi Schmid talked about the formation of the 2010 roster a bit today, and one of the players whose name came up prominently was Roger Levesque:

“It’s tough to make this roster because we do have a good core that we developed last year and we want to hold onto that core of players. But you’re always looking to expand upon it and make it better. You also have a lot of players like I’ll give an example Roger Levesque. Roger last year at the beginning of the year was struggling. It was going to be touch and go whether he was going to make the team. This year he’s one of the guys who came back in and said ‘I’m going to be better than I was last year’. So not only is it the same players, but it’s players who have also said ‘I’m going to be better. I’m going to be ready for that challenge’. So it’s tough to make that team.”

Given that interesting statement, I followed up asking about other players who seem to be coming on significant improvement:

“A lot of the guys have built on last year. Roger (Levesque) is an example. I thought Taylor (Graham) before he got injured was doing well. Mike Fucito certainly has stepped up and is more aware of the rhythm and what needs to be done. Those are guys that are obviously aware of things. You also have some rookies in (David) Estrada and Michael Seamon is out here again training with us right now. We’re also going to push some people. So that’s going to be a big plus. But even the other guys, whether you are dealing with (Osvaldo) Alonso, or you’re dealing with Brad Evans, they’ve all made advancements. Brad being called into the national team a couple of times now, going through their January camp, all of those experiences make you a better player, make you a more confident player.”

And finally, we asked if there was any additional difficulty in projecting his roster in light of unknown rules and limits that will be determined in the new collective bargaining agreement:

“It’s a problem obviously for Adrian (Hanauer) and Chris (Henderson) and myself because you’re not quite sure what the cap is right now, what the roster sizes are going to be, etc. So you’re sort of shooting in the blind. You’re making assumptions it’s going to be similar to last year with maybe some slight adjustments and that’s what we’re trying to build off of. But we think we’re pretty good right now in terms of all those issues and all those areas. I’d like the roster sizes to be bigger, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”