Evans powers Sounders to big win in return to action
SEATTLE — Mike Fucito may have stolen the headlines with his two goals against CSD Comunicaciones, but Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans turned in a superb outing in central midfield in Tuesday night’s 4-1 win as well. Out since picking up an injury in the July 20th match against Manchester United, Evans started and played the full 90 minutes for Seattle.
And to the delight of his coaches, fans and fellow players, he stayed on the field the whole time without picking up any injuries.
“I didn't expect him to be able to go 90 minutes, but he was able to conserve his energy for the right times and get through it,” said head coach Sigi Schmid, whose substitution patterns were likely interrupted by Lamar Neagle’s 55th-minute red card.
By no means was Evans’ stat line unimpressive — the midfielder notched a goal and assist before the night was done. But he also earned acclaim from his coach for doing the little things like winning headers in midfield.
“Those are little things that are really important that often times go overlooked,” Schmid said.
After Evans opened the scoring for the Sounders — with a goal that he admitted went off his shoulder — he provided the crucial beginning to Fucito’s second goal of the night. He turned nimbly in midfield to find Álvaro Fernández, who then played Fucito through.
An added high point to Evans’ night was the captain’s armband that he wore for the first time in his MLS career. He told the Seattle Times that Schmid handed him the band just minutes before the game, saying also that the honor was “something special.”
Patrick Ianni, who started in central defense, lauded Evans’ leadership skills on the night. With Evans’ help, the team battled back from a man down to score the final three goals of the night.
“Every time he steps on the field he gives 100 percent and I think the team feeds off his energy in the midfield, certainly,” Ianni said. “It's one of those things where if you give your all as a player you can ask a lot of others as well, and I think Brad has a good way of doing that and it really helps our team."
Ianni was withdrawn from the match against Comunicaciones in the 75th minute with a hamstring knock, but he didn’t seem concerned with the injury.
“I’ve never had a hamstring [injury] before, but I don’t think it’s that bad,” Ianni said.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS