TUKWILA, Wash. – As expected, Brad Evans was one of three Seattle Sounders to be called into the US national team for the April 2 friendly against Mexico in his home state of Arizona (11 pm ET, ESPN, UniMas).
Over the past year, Evans has established himself as the USMNT’s starting right back, a position that was further cemented by Steve Cherundolo’s retirement. As tempting as it may be for Evans to start thinking about Brazil, his recent injury is just the latest reminder that it’s far too early to assume anything.
“The way I look at it is I took a knock 15 minutes into the second game of the year and it kept me out for a game-and-a-half and I’m hoping it doesn’t keep me out this week again,” said Evans, noting he’s hopeful he can playing 90 minutes against the Columbus Crew on Saturday (10 pm ET, MLS Live).
“Any second anything can happen. Fluke things like happen in Vancouver, couple guys walking around and slip and [Nigel] Reo-Coker smashes his head ... stuff happens.
“My main focus is this weekend and that’s where it will stay. Like I’ve said in the past, I’ve done a good job of focusing on the next week and when things do happen, it’s dealing with them appropriately and not getting too far fixed into the future and focusing on what’s going on right now.”
Right now, that focus is on recovering from the calf injury he suffered against Toronto FC. Evans was healthy enough last week to travel and train with the Sounders during their road trip to Montreal. He was still unable to train fully on Wednesday, but he was able to do possession drills and work with the ball at his feet.
“Today is the best it’s felt,” Evans said. “It’s an issue of pain threshold, like any injury, but with a knock there’s more than one muscle in your calf and when one goes down the others take over. If those get too stressed those can break down as well. So it’s about being smart and not pushing things too hard, slowly integrating back into the team and taking some medicine too.”
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Assuming he doesn’t have any setbacks, the match against Mexico carries a bit of added importance. Not only is it a chance for Evans to play in front of his hometown fans – he’s from Phoenix – but it would also be the first time the 28-year-old has played against Mexico.
“Anytime you play a rival like that, it’s a big deal, especially in Arizona where it’s going to be a packed house,” he said. “I’m hoping to get through this weekend unscatched and then focus on Wednesday.”