TUKWILA, Wash. – Another positional switch appears to be on the horizon for Seattle Sounders captain Brad Evans.
Evans has been Seattle’s starting center back since the start of last season, a role that was briefly thrown into flux by last summer’s acquisition of Panamanian national team veteran Roman Torres. But Torres tore his ACL last September, just four games into his Seattle tenure, forcing Evans back into the central defense, where he has remained ever since.
Now, with Torres returning to full training for Seattle on Monday and getting set to make his return in the coming weeks, Evans is prepared for the possibility that his role may change once again.
“At the end of the day, when [Torres] is ready to go, I would imagine he’ll step in at center back and ultimately I’ll have to fight for another position on the field,” Evans told reporters after Seattle’s Thursday practice. “And that’s fine. It’s business, it’s soccer. We want to make our team stronger and I’ll be the first one to tell you that all I want to do is win games. Wherever I fit in that equation, we’ll see when the times comes.”
Playing the role of utility man is nothing new for the 31-year-old Evans. He has played virtually everywhere along the backline and midfield over the course of his decade-long MLS career.
Although he’s made no secret of his desire to lock down a more concrete role during the latter part of his career in the past, Evans reiterated on Thursday that he’s perfectly willing to play wherever he might be needed upon Torres’ return.
“Ultimately, I think I’m a guy who can play multiple positions and he’s a guy who can play one position, so I think I understand the situation at hand,” Evans said. “Nothing will ever change my mindset going into a training session or a game. I think I’ve adapted to multiple positions fairly well.”
Sounders interim coach Brian Schmetzer also addressed the situation following Seattle’s practice on Thursday, saying that he has yet to make a definitive call on where Evans will play when Torres returns to the fold.
“We’ve started that discussion,” Schmetzer said. “Right now, Brad is playing center back and if I decide to make changes then I will let him know first, not [the media].
“I think his worth to this franchise over the years has been tremendous. You might hear different opinions that he’s never really settled [with one position] and I’m cognizant of that and that’s why good communication between the two of us is key. I see a lot of value in [his versatility]. Now, do I think he should be playing four different positions? No. I’d like him to settle into one.”