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Player Profiles, #17: Sebastian Velasquez sees ups-and-downs, first regular season goal

Sebastian Velasquez had a year of ups-and-downs, but he scored his first regular season goal in 2014. He ranks 17th in our RSL Soapbox Player Ranking, and we're profiling him today.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Any fans of RSL for the last few years surely know the amazing story of how Sebastian Velasquez came to join RSL, if you're a new fan or want to re-read the story you can find it here.

The first Sebastian on the team (I find it somewhat interesting that we now have 3 on the roster — Velasquez, Jaime and Saucedo!), had a rather rough year in 2014. With the arrival of Luke Mulholland, Seba (or Rufio, if you prefer his unofficial fan-nickname and ensuing chant) was relegated to being a late-game substitute for the first team, and regular starter for the reserve team.

Statistically on the first team, he took a major step back. He started only one game (he had 9 last year) and had a total of 222 minutes compared to 892 in 2013; however he made the most of that one start scoring his first regular-season goal: n excellent knee-in off a corner kick in the 2-0 win over San Jose on Oct. 11. His first goal for the first team came during the playoffs last year against LA Galaxy. He featured prominently with the reserves in 2014 and had a fairly decent season, most often at the point of the midfield diamond.

The rough year also was felt off-field, as he had some ups and downs. His low point was in May he was picked up for speeding and subsequently failed a sobriety test, resulting in a DUI charge, which for all purposes, he seems to have put behind him. The high marks on and off-field both transpired in early October; first, he celebrated the birth of his son, followed perhaps not so coincidentally with the aforementioned goal vs SJ. His post-goal celebration shows the joy of both.

It's likely that he'll be left unprotected in the Expansion Draft next month, but will either team pick him? I would venture that he'll still be with RSL in 2015, presuming that Mulholland and Grabavoy retain the two starting midfield positions for the first team, with Gil and the primary substitute.

Velasquez could be a primary fixture for the new Real Monarchs, or perhaps he'll remain with RSL as a reliable substitute and potential starter in the event of injury. We'll find out during the preseason.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2014 season and previewing the 2015 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.