TUKWILA, Wash. — Brad Evans got his first real taste of international soccer while playing with the United States national team. He might be hungry for a bigger bite.
The Seattle Sounders midfielder is in the final year of his contract, and while he says he’d like to re-sign, the thought of playing professionally in Europe is at least intriguing.
“It would have to be a situation where they wanted me and really wanted me to step in and play,” Evans said when asked about his desire to go to Europe. “If it comes about, it comes about, but right now I’m focused on being here and hopefully we get something sorted out with the club and I’d be more than happy to spend another three to four years here.”
Evans said he’d be wary of going to Europe with anything less than a guaranteed deal, though. Not only could he suffer an injury while on trial, but if he failed to stick with a club he could find himself forced to take a pay cut upon returning to MLS.
“It’s a little bit of a chess game,” he said.
The risks aside, Evans freely admitted to being impressed when he visited longtime friend Sacha Kljestan during an offseason trip to Belgium. Kljestan has spent the past three seasons at Anderlecht, competing in European tournaments each season. The Brussels-based club is coming off its 32nd domestic league title and will play in UEFA Champions League for the second straight year.
“He loves it over there, is fully integrated,” Evans said about Kljestan. “That would be a really cool place to play, at Anderlecht. It would be insane. The city itself and the stature of the club. From what he says, the coaches are some of the best he’s ever had.
“Obviously, you see the talent that Belgium is putting out is ridiculous. They are kinda finding their own style of play like Spain did. All the players have been brought up through the youth system that way and now they are playing that way on the club teams as well.”