In a perfect world, Nik Besagno would be getting 90 minutes every game with Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer.
It’s not a perfect world.
And Besagno wasn’t getting any minutes.
The perfect solution for the Maple Valley native?
Come on home and get some minutes with the Seattle Sounders.
Besagno returned to the Northwest last Tuesday and joined the defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champions on loan from Salt Lake. The loan agreement runs through Sept. 9, although Real has the right to recall him at any time prior to that.
“I’m still learning names and playing styles. (But) it just feels good to get out here and play,” said Besagno, who was on the field for all 90 minutes Tuesday night at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila as the Sounders beat Juventus Primavera, the reserve side of the world-famous Italian club, 3-0 in an international friendly.
“Time is time,” Besagno said of getting in a full game. “Obviously, this is a great team. I have no problems (with this). I’m happy to be here.”
A midfielder, Besagno was a sophomore at Kennedy High in Burien when he left as a sophomore in 2004 to join U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. In January of 2005, he was taken by the then-expansion Real Salt Lake club with the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft.
Though his appearances were extremely limited in 2005 and 2006, Besagno was starting to work his way toward some playing time last year when surgery to repair a torn meniscus ended his season in September. He had more surgery in January to repair a partially torn meniscus in each of his knees.
Altogether, Besagno has played eight games with Salt Lake in his first three seasons, starting four of them. He did not have any action with the club this season, but had played in some reserve-team games.
“He’s a decent, steady-eddy kid,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “He needs to play more, needs to play a little bit faster, a little bit quicker. He’s physically very strong, has decent ability on the ball, and he knows his position well.”
Besagno’s older brother, Jake, played with the Sounders in 2006 and 2007.