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Published: Thursday, June 4, 2009, 9:28 a.m.

Jaqua is Sounders' Mister Reliable

  • The Sounders' Nate Jacqua has three goals and four assists.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    The Sounders' Nate Jacqua has three goals and four assists.

SEATTLE -- The ball hung in the air seemingly forever before finally coming back down, and when it did, Sounders FC forward Nate Jaqua was there to hammer home the game-tying shot.
As he has had a knack for doing all season, Jaqua put himself in the perfect position Saturday to score Seattle's only goal in a 1-1 tie against Columbus. In a inaugural season in which Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid has constantly had to rotate his lineup because of injuries and suspensions, Jaqua has been one of the few constants in the Seattle lineup.
And Jaqua isn't just logging minutes, he's producing. Especially lately.
He doesn't have the flashiness of Fredy Montero -- though his most recent goal was voted goal of the week on the MLS Website. And his acquisition was hardly as newsworthy as that of Freddie Ljungberg, but a little more than a third of the way through the season, Jaqua has been Seattle's top producer on offense.
With three goals and four assists, Jaqua leads the team with 10 points. He has scored or assisted in each of the last four games, including goals in the last two.
"At forward things are streaky," said Jaqua, who missed Wednesday's practice to attend his grandfather's funeral in Oregon, but is expected back at practice today. "Sometimes they just don't go in and sometimes they start going in. Hopefully I'm on upswing of that and they keep falling for me."
And if history is any indicator, Jaqua is just getting started. During his MLS career, Jaqua has scored 11 goals in the month of June, more than any other month. He also has four career goals against Chivas USA, this weekend's opponent, including his first career hat trick in 2005.
"It tends to come in ebbs and flows sometimes with forwards where you get into a roll, and then other times you're not," Schmid said. "For him, I know he's been devoting some time to doing some extra shooting and things like that. We've been doing that kind of work as well, so I think that's helped. Being at the right place at the right time also helps you when you get those opportunities. He's got I think three goals and four assists which is good, and we expect him to continue to get more."
Jaqua says the key to his success is simply making good runs and being in position to make things happen.
"I get involved in a lot of stuff," he said. "I'm always trying to find the ball, always trying to get involved in situations and make those runs. Sometimes you get in those positions and the ball gets there, and sometimes it doesn't, but you've got to keep making those runs."
At 6-foot-4, Jaqua is usually one of the bigger players on the field, which is not surprising considering his father, Jon, was an NFL safety for two seasons. And just how does the son of an NFL player end up dedicating himself to the "other" football?
"My dad got real beat up in football, so my mom kind of pushed us away from that a little bit," he said.
Jaqua, a native of Eugene, Ore. and two-time All-American at the University of Portland, was hoping to return to the Northwest after playing the last six seasons in Chicago, L.A. and most recently Houston.
"It's kind of what I wanted," said Jaqua, who Seattle selected from Houston in the expansion draft. "I'm from the Northwest and I wanted to get back here. ... Fortunately it worked out. You never knew in situations like that."
Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » Sounders FC

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