A cursory look at the stat sheet might not have given much reason to get excited about Brad Smith’s performance on Sunday against Los Angeles FC. The left back completed just 50 percent of his passes and didn’t even have a key pass. But his contribution’s to the Seattle Sounders’ 1-1 tie despite playing a man down for 72 minutes were impossible to miss for anyone who actually watched.
Smith was one of the few Sounders who forced LAFC onto their heels, and nearly allowed the Sounders to pull off a miracle win when he managed to set up a glorious chance in stoppage time, only to have Latif Blessing make a last-minute tackle to preserve the tie. Not one necessarily known for his defense, Smith also chipped in with a game-high six successful tackles.
Apparently people noticed, as Smith was named to the MLS Team of the Week for the first time.
This comes at a particularly opportune time, as the ESPN broadcast mentioned that Smith’s agent is in town discussing potential “next steps.” Smith’s contract status has been a somewhat significant unknown ever since Bournemouth declined to recall him in January. Under the loan’s current terms, Smith’s stay in Seattle will conclude at the end of June. While Bournemouth seems open to letting him stay, they may not be quite as enamored with the idea of likely picking up part of his paycheck in the meantime. Smith’s contract with Bournemouth apparently runs through next June and they may be more inclined to let him join the Sounders on a relatively affordable transfer, rather than keep paying him for another year while he plays somewhere else anyway. Smith has given every indication he’s enjoying his time here, especially the consistent playing time.