We all see a little bit of ourselves in Roger Levesque, or at least see something we'd like to see in ourselves. He's gregarious, approachable, quick-witted, down-to-earth, generous with his time, humble ... the list goes on. If there's a positive quality to describe someone, you can probably attach it to him.
It's these kinds of attributes that allow us to believe that if we were a professional athlete, we'd want to embody him. We would stay long after our teammates signing autographs. We'd show up to bars and hang out with supporters. We'd volunteer to read books to children. We'd act like we were enjoying every single moment we got to step onto a soccer field and be paid to play a game.
These things, more than the goals or the celebrations or any other on-field accomplishments, are what made us fall in love with Roger Levesque. We'll miss him because there will never be another quite like him.
After the jump, some of the other Sounder at Heart writers give their 2 cents:
Connecting past to present
Roger connects to me in ways that only one other player can. He's part of that bridge between what the Sounders were and what they are. He is still a man that knows he has to connect with fans, because the sport is still growing. He's also a man that knows he has to connect with sponsors, because the sport is still growing. He seems to enjoy both of these things. Whether climbing into the Brougham End for photos or having a dinner filmed for a Date with a Sounder he glows. He just enjoys life.
He isn't just a symbol for soccer though. He's a symbol of Seattle. Though not a native, he clearly is a Sounder. Not the nickname of the team, but a man who lives and loves this region we are in. Paddleboard yoga, odd facial hair, the way he dresses in his 'civilian' attire, where he lives, how he lives. When people say you can't adopt a home, one only need point out Roger Levesque. This is clearly home.
I've half-joked that the first ever statue of a Sounder should be of Levesque pulling himself up for a photo down in the South End. It wouldn't be a recognition of his play, but a way to tell all future players "This is what we were, this is what we are and this is what we will be. A Sounder gives back, because the people in the stands are Sounders too." That's who Roger Levesque is for me.
- Dave Clark
Our Roger Levesque
"Pirate, Labrador, Diver's Institute Graduate, Scottsman, Tree impersonator, Sexy Avenger, humanitarian, and consummate Sounder." These are just some of the names that you could attach to a Seattle legacy in Roger Levesque. I mean, it is one thing to beat a hated rival in less time than it takes to cook a Hot Pocket, but it is yet another to display the heart, the passion, the loyalty, and the love, day in and day out, on and off the pitch, the way our very own Captain Roger did.
For nine years, Levesque has been not only one of the hardest working players on the pitch, but also one of the best people involved in The Beautiful Game. It is no wonder he became a fan favorite (perhaps THE fan favorite). His willingness to talk to fans of all ages, to be there in the community, and his honest demeanor became irresistible. And the fans, whether they remember NASL or cheered in USL or thundered at the Clink, will remember him as one of the best.
He's Roger Levesque. OUR Roger Levesque. And I wish him as much "best" as can be wished. Farewell captain. May your plundering ship (yacht?) lay anchor in our port again soon. #LEV4SEAHOF
- Agent J
A consummate professional
Roger Levesque will always occupy a special place in Sounders lore for me. He and Kasey Keller represent the two halves of the Sounders' team personality. Kasey links the team to the epitome of what is possible in the sport. Roger links the team to its fans. Two consummate professionals personifying what I love about the team. Well done Roger. Thank you for the memories.
- Abbott Smith
Love of the Game
Roger was one of the hardest workers on the pitch whenever he was on it, but it was work suffused with joy. He was never overly burdened with fantasies of going off to play for some top European club. His career arc was to wring as much fun and fulfillment out of the game while it wrung him out for as long as he could last, and he's the thread that has kept the Seattle Sounders grounded through their meteoric rise from the A-League through USL-1 to MLS to perennial playoff team to continental competition and Open Cup champions.
Because no matter how many million dollar DPs we sign and how many new fans we can pack into CenturyLink, Seattle will always be the local team that featured that screwball Roger Levesque. Good luck to him in the next part of his life.