Evans keeping pace despite new faces, roles in Seattle
SEATTLE — The writing was on the wall and Brad Evans read it easily.
The Seattle Sounders had just signed a central midfielder who had recently led the Bundesliga in assists and a wide midfielder coming off a starring role in the Olympics. On paper, at least, Evans looked like he might be the odd man out.
“Obviously that all crosses your mind,” Evans (above right) told MLSsoccer.com following Saturday’s win over Vancouver. “It’s rare to be someplace for four years. If I find myself on the field, I just have to try to produce. I just need to try to make it difficult for them, that’s the most important thing.”
So far, that’s exactly what he’s been doing.
Evans has started all six of the Sounders’ past league games, with his most complete performance coming on Saturday against the Whitecaps. He played solid defense, completed a team-high 48 passes and picked up an assist with a perfectly placed cross that led to Eddie Johnson’s game-clinching goal.
But that game also represented one of Evans’ frustrations, as he moved from one wide midfield spot to the other.
“I’ve talked about it for a long time, it’s a blessing and a curse,” Evans said of his versatility. “You’d like to have one role, but they want more creativity from the central midfield role. Fair enough, that’s fine and hopefully I can find myself plugged in.”
On the plus side, Evans’ flexibility has kept him in the lineup. He has played all four midfield roles, as well as a right fullback over the past couple months.
"His versatility helps us, and we play enough games where people are going to get on the field and people are going to play,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said on Saturday. “But right now with new players coming in, you still have to find – and it will take some time – the right mix and to see how it mixes together the right way. Today, the mix worked.”
While encouraging in a sense, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for Evans’ desire for stability. To Evans’ credit, though, he seems to understand that the only thing under his control is his performance.
“When it comes down to it, we’ll see what happens,” Evans said. “But as long as I put my head down and work like I have from the beginning, good things tend to happen and things tend to work out.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.