South Xtra: Baldwin grad is battling his way for Riverhounds

PRO SOCCER


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Though six yellow cards have endangered some of his playing time this season, Mike Seth plays far more soccer than his former Baldwin High School teammates do these days.

Seven years removed from his days with the Highlanders, he has found another soccer home only 7 miles from Baldwin.

A forward, Seth has started more than half the Riverhounds' 22 games, adding two goals and two assists to his volume of yellow cards, as well as 25 fouls. Two of those fouls came along with a goal and an assist in the Riverhounds' 4-1 victory against the Antigua Barracuda on July 27 at Chartiers Valley High School, a mere 7 miles from Baldwin as the crow flies.

"It's always good to play as much as you can, especially changing a few positions and being involved up top," Seth said. "It's always good to be involved up there."

Seth may have changed positions throughout his soccer career, now seeing his time split between midfielder and forward after much experience as a defender in years past, but he has not changed homes that much. After his Baldwin career and a lack of college recruiters, he headed to Penn State Erie -- The Behrend College. Before his senior season, he spent the summer in the Rocky Mountains playing for the Colorado Rapids Under-23 squad, a now-folded member of the USL Premier Development League.

When his college career ended with back-to-back Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championships, Seth wanted to move up a notch from the PDL, and began training with the Riverhounds.

"I was trying to get into the [United Soccer Leagues] and they gave me an opportunity to train with them for the rest of the season, so that was the best option for me," Seth said. "That's when I signed."

Playing with the Riverhounds (4-13-5) held many unintentional bonuses for Seth, including home-cooking. He indeed still lives with his parents, and plans on continuing to do so for the near-future.

"You can live at home, cook meals and stuff like that," Seth said. "Until they move out, I'll be there. Then I have to get on my own way. ... It's good, because family can always be at the home games, be very supportive."

The Pittsburgh native also enjoys the fruits of the Riverhounds' Youth Academy. While the academy's primary goal is to develop local talent, it is also a useful commodity in recruiting players such as Seth, Riverhounds chief executive Jason Kutney said.

"It can put our pros to work," Kutney said. "They can make ancillary dollars through those different income buckets."

As a result of his time training in the mornings, lifting weights in the afternoons and coaching at night, Seth estimates he puts in five or six hours of soccer a day. Considering Seth sees many of his high school teammates with decent frequency, as he does live at the same house as he did in high school, it is not hard to believe him when he says that is likely five or six hours of soccer more than they play in a week.

"I still see some of the kids from high school, and not many of them are playing much," Seth said. "It's good to keep playing at this age."

As long as he avoids many more yellow cards, he can plan to continue doing so.

"It just seems like the referees are drawn to me," he said, trying to keep an innocent face. "The first foul of the game, and it's a yellow card."

sportsother

Douglas Farmer: dfarmer@post-gazette.com or on Twitter @D_Farmer. First Published August 9, 2012 11:45 AM


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