TUKWILA–It’s been a difficult season for second-year midfielder Mike Seamon. The 23-year-old was placed on the disabled list on Sept. 12 with a lateral ankle tendon injury, which ended his season without an MLS appearance.
Seamon, who has since recovered from the injury, remains eligible for CONCACAF Champions League and MLS Reserve League games and played all 90 minutes in the reserves’ 3-1 win Monday against San Jose.
“It was great to get out there,” he said. “I was a little bit tired because I hadn’t played in a while, but I felt great and I thought we played pretty well.”
Unfortunately, the reserve league has been mostly the extent of Seamon’s involvement this season (his only competitive appearance was playing 85 minutes against the Kitsap Pumas in the U.S. Open Cup). Playing with pain for much of the year limited his effectiveness in practice, which provided few opportunities in games.
“We’ve had some strange injuries and his was a nerve-related injury to his lower leg — I think that took him out of (his) rhythm for a while,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “I think he knows more than anybody else that he could’ve improved a little bit more. It’s a matter now of the work he does from now until the end of the season. I’m sure he’s disappointed as well, but the injury played a good role in that.”
A surprisingly quick fix on the injury, however, has provided late optimism. So what was the key to the recovery?
“Basically just adding an insole in my shoe relieved some pressure off the outside of my foot,” said Seamon, who played eight MLS games (starting three) in 2010. “It didn’t stop the pain, but it really reduced it.”
And reignited Seamon’s hopes of making a good impression in these final weeks.
“Year 2 is definitely disappointing for me, especially since I was hoping to build off of Year 1 and get a little more playing time than I did and have more of an impact on the team,” said the Villanova product. “There were a lot days I didn’t train well, basically because I was in pain and feeling injured. I’m glad they fixed it now. A lot of times it’s not about how you start, but how you finish. Obviously I’m finishing on the (disabled list), but I’m hopefully finishing in good graces with the coaches in how they’re seeing me practice and in reserve games. It doesn’t mean it could all be bad if it ends well.”
These could be important days regarding Seamon’s future with the team. While Schmid wasn’t addressing the midfielder directly, the coach said he typically gives players 1-2 years to make an impression and the MLS Reserve League has been particularly helpful in those evaluations.
“If there hasn’t been enough improvement in the two years,” said Schmid, “then a lot of times we’ll go on and decide to invest that time in somebody else.”