Photo credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times
There hasn’t been a more central figure in the Sounders-Timbers rivalry over the past decade than Roger Levesque.
A hero. A villain. A lightning rod.
And following Levesque’s retirement in July (above), Saturday’s game in Portland is going to have a much different feel. I asked a handful of Sounders players and coaches what it will be like this weekend without Levesque on the team.
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“We’re trying to see if we can bring him down somehow. If we can’t bring him, maybe we’ve got to do a cardboard cutout … or paint his face on the side of the bus. (laughs) We’ve got to do something to bring Roger with us. At least his spirit will be with us.” — Sigi Schmid, head coach
“It’s been an interesting dynamic. Roger was such a good guy to have on this team. Have we filled the void? No. Do we have a veteran enough team to compensate? Yes. It’ll be touching for guys like me and Zach (Scott) and Tommy (Dutra) and some of the other guys. It would be really nice to see him down there.” — Brian Schmetzer, assistant coach
“Does that like ratchet the animosity down a little bit? I highly doubt it. I hope he’s in the stands somewhere, maybe bouncing around with the Portland crowd to get them riled up. It will be a little weird. He’s going to be missed out there. He’s a staple of the Portland-Seattle rivalry.” — Zach Scott, defender
“Yeah, it will be (weird). He’s been around for quite a long time — definitely broken some Portland hearts and done a lot of good things for the team and for the Seattle organization. It’s going to be funny not having him getting yelled at and people flipping him off. It’ll be a different day without Roger down there, for sure.” — Jeff Parke, defender
“I haven’t even thought about it. He’s always here with us, whether it’s hanging out on weekends or after games. He’s still very much a part of this group, whether or not he’s on the field or on the bench. … Obviously it’d be great if he came on and scored. (laughs)” — Brad Evans, midfielder
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What are your thoughts on the first Sounders-Timbers game since Levesque’s retirement?