Physicality is a big part of Major League Soccer. Saturdays in MLS have a significant amount of skill, but the fast, tough play stands out across the league. Looking for a home as a trialist with one of MLS’s toughest outfits, the Houston Dynamo, Jose “Sito” Seoane is looking to show he can fit the bill.
Seoane, a 26-year-old who was born in Miami but grew up in Spain, is currently working to earn a spot in a very crowded Dynamo midfield. While numbers may be tight, he believes he has what it takes to stand up to the league’s toughest challenges.
“I like to be intense in the game. Here you’ve got to be intense, otherwise it’s going to be bad,” Seoane said about transitioning to MLS play. “I’ve been working the last month to get conditioned. To me that’s the most important thing.”
Showing toughness in MLS will get you noticed. Showing he can stand up to the fight is something he has worked on as he moves up the levels of soccer, including last season with 2013 PDL champions Austin Aztex.
“It was a good experience and I learned how to compete with physical guys,” Seoane said. “That’s the thing I got from Austin.”
Being physical in PDL play is one thing; Seoane still has to show it against a step up in competition.
“I think he’s adjusted pretty well and has a good touch on the ball,” Kinnear said before leaving for a week in Tucson, Ariz., where the club played games versus the San Jose Earthquakes, Portland Timbers and FC Tucson. “The game’s probably a lot faster than he’s probably used too. That’s why we want to see more of him and see how it goes from there.”
Seoane, who performed well against the Colorado Rapids before the trip, held his own and scored his second goal of the preseason against the Earthquakes (right). Along the way he has shown a willingness to track back, get stuck in and do the dirty work while on the pitch.
Showing that guile will win over teammates and coaches, but in the end soccer is still about technique. While Seoane is looking to show he has the physical fitness, he has shown the ability to create the same type of production as he did in Austin and in college by scoring goals and finding the right pass.
The midfielder was named MVP of the 2013 PDL Playoffs; Seoane led the Aztex to the league crown while tying for the club lead in both goals (9) and assists (5). At the same time he led NJCAA in goals scored (30) while at San Jacinto College, just 12 miles from where the Dynamo train. He also added 14 assists to his impressive goal haul.
It is all part of a versatile package that the Miami-born, Spain-bred midfielder is hoping to use to land a contract with the Dynamo—a contract that is not assured.
“So far it’s been a good experience. Here there are players that make you feel better playing,” Seoane said. “I think it’s going well.”
As for what Seoane thinks will keep him progressing towards a chance to stay in Houston, his answer was simple: “Just work hard.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.