Babayele Sodade During Sounders Training At The VMAC (Photo Courtesy of Chris Coulter/SoundersPhotos
Sometimes a player has a big week because of goals scored, or a game winning assist, or a shutout. For Babayele Sodade his week was a bit bigger. In a period of just days he'd signed his contract to be a professional soccer player and was called in as one of 23 players competing to represent Canada in 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. He also knows that three of those players won't make the final roster.
Still, the excitement oozed out in his words and his infectious smile during his conversation with Sounder at Heart after his 4 second half minutes in the scrimmage against Oregon State.
It feels great. I've always wanted to make the team as a professional and I don't think anyone wants to turn down a chance to play in the Olympics. Hopefully everything turns out right and we qualify.
Qualification for Canada is far from a sure thing. They start in the same group as the United States, Cuba and El Salvador. The top two teams advance to the semi-finals where will be against the top two of Mexico, Panama, Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago. The two semi-final winners will go to London representing their nations on the global stage. Sodade isn't intimidated by the opposition.
It's the second game and we're looking to win. We're going to come out fighting.
Babayele knows he can use the time with Canadian team to continue learning. He relayed that Sigi Schmid gave him advice related to the youth national team.
He said I should go in and get experience and then come back with as much as I can learn and then come back and keep working hard.
Seattle has several forwards of quality that are blocking Sodade from getting playing time, but he sees that as an opportunity for a rookie to learn from a couple of greats in the League.
I'm a rookie, a first year player and I'm learning from veterans like Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero. Any rookie in this league would want to learn from them. I'm just privileged to have that opportunity.
He also knows that Seattle has the potential to play in more games than any team in MLS history.
Everyone gets an opportunity to play here. With up to 50 games this season there's no way an individual can play 50 games Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday, so I know I'm going to get my chances so I just have to prove myself.
He should get some playing time, but his individual goals are modest.
I hope I get in a minimum of five or six games and get a goal or two and contribute as much as I can to the team as we win an MLS Cup.
But these are only his individual goals, remember, he sees Canada beating the USA and the Seattle Sounders winning the MLS Cup.