Roger Levesque is Doing More in Life After Soccer


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Always a fan favorite during his time as a Seattle Sounders player, Roger Levesque is doing more for the community outside of soccer now that his playing days are over. was able to sit down with Roger on Monday to talk to him about his charity, Grassroot Soccer.

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Playingfor90: Can you tell me a little bit more about your charity and exactly what it does?

Roger Levesque: Grassroot Soccer (GRS) uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV. Currently operating in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia, GRS uses soccer to connect with communities and a life-skills curriculum to educate kids about HIV and at-risk behaviors. Almost 700,000 youths have graduated from Grassroot Soccer’s HIV prevention programs.

P490: What got you involved with this charity in the first place?

RL: The longer you are part of the soccer community, the more different worlds start to overlap. Grassroot Soccer’s Executive Director, Tommy Clark, is the son of my college soccer coach, Bobby Clark. At the time, Bobby was coaching at Stanford University and is now at Notre Dame. Funnily enough, Bobby’s other son, Jamie, is the coach here at UW! They’re an amazing family!

Because of these connections, I have known about the organization for a long time. GRS’ mission has always resonated very strongly with me. Clearly I’m passionate about soccer, having played the game into my 30s, but also recognize the power of the game to make a difference. My last couple years as a Sounders FC player, I grew to appreciate the importance of community and the ability to positively impact other people.

When I was trying to figure out where I wanted to spend my summer internship between my first and second years in the MBA program at UW’s Foster School of Business, Grassroot Soccer was the perfect spot for me to land. I spent the summer of ’13 working with GRS in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I witnessed first-hand an organization that was truly making an impact in communities in need. And I got to play a little soccer along the way!

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  • P490: So what is this I hear about you running in a marathon in the next week and a half? Has it been hard to train for? Do you have a certain time you would like to finish the marathon?

    RL: During my experience last summer, I also recognized a huge challenge that organizations like Grassroot Soccer face. Funding. Despite how many people they reach and lives they touch, need always seems to outpace reach. That is why I decided to run in the New York City Marathon on November 2, to help raise important funds for Grassroot Soccer. The GRS running team has been an important fundraising arm of the organization for years. By pledging to raise money for the organization, I earned the opportunity to join a handful of others to run through the five boroughs of New York City wearing the GRS logo on my shirt. I’m pretty pumped!

    Because of the GRS mission, the training has been a lot more rewarding than it otherwise would have been. I ran the Seattle Marathon last year, and feel a lot more prepared going into NYC. I also think that the adrenaline of the GRS mission and the magnitude of running through NYC will push me to have a good run. Hopefully it feels like I’m floating!

    As far as a time that I have in mind, I’ll be most happy just finishing the race. I tend to think it’s more about the journey than the end result. Although, the competitive spirit in me would love to break the 3 hour barrier!

    P490: Sunday night during the Sounders-Galaxy match, the Eastside Supporters had a viewing party at Snoqualmie Brewing to help raise some money for your charity. Who reached out to who to get that started and how much did that mean to you and your charity?

    RL: A lot of folks came together to make Sunday night’s event at Snoqualmie Brewing Company a huge success. I’ve been meaning to join the Eastside Supporters group for a Sounders FC away viewing party for a long time. With the marathon coming up and GRS fundraising on my mind, it seemed like a great opportunity to get a lot of soccer enthusiasts in a room together to not only support the Sounders, but also Grassroot Soccer. I can’t say enough about the efforts of the Eastside Supporters group to pull it all together. To see a community come out and support soccer in whatever capacity that may be – in this case both cheering on the Sounders and fundraising for GRS – is inspiring on a lot of different levels. The funds that we raised on Sunday night will make a difference in the lives of others.

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  • P490: You know I have to ask you a soccer related question. How do you see Sigi Schmid and the rest of the team doing in the last match this weekend and into the playoffs?

    RL: As a huge fan of the Seattle Sounders, I’m excited about the week to come. I think the team showed a ton of character battling back to get a result in last Sunday’s away match in LA, and has created momentum for themselves not only as they vie for the Supporter’s Shield next Saturday, but also going into the playoffs. I can’t say enough about the guys and how together they have been throughout the year, as well as the influence of a coaching staff that always has the team ready to play. Go Sounders!

    If you would like to know a little bit more about the marathon and possibly donate money please follow the link here. Roger is only $734 short of reaching the goal they set at $3000.

    I personally want to thank Roger for taking the time to speak with me regarding his charity. I have been fortunate to meet Roger several times over the last few years. Every single time I have seen him, he has been nothing more than gracious with his time and always has a smile on his face. He has taken time to take photos with my daughter and myself several times.

    After meeting Roger I now understand why everybody loves him. It’s not just because he is a former Sounders player, it’s mainly because Roger is truly a genuine person.