TUKWILA, Wash. — Coming off a 23-minute performance against Chivas USA last Saturday, Brad Evans has been a full participant in Seattle Sounders training this week, possibly heralding a much-awaited return to the starting lineup.
The original plan was for Evans to follow up the Chivas USA match with an appearance in the Reserve League match on Sunday, but it was later decided he was better off returning home and doing a day of conditioning.
“They said, 'Depending on how many minutes you play in the game, we’ll feel it out,'” Evans said. “I would have rather played in the game than done fitness. I came out of it healthy and that’s what’s important.”
While a return to the starting lineup this Saturday against the Colorado Rapids (4 pm ET, UDN, MLS Free Stream of the Week) seems like a safe bet, where he’d potentially play is still something head coach Sigi Schmid is keeping close to the vest.
“We have a good squad, we have some depth and we have some options,” Schmid told reporters on Wednesday. “[Gonzalo] Pineda has played a lot in the middle of the midfield. Brad gives us that option in the middle of midfield and he and Ozzie [Alonso] have played a lot of games together. He gives us someone who is strong in the air with his heading, who has that ability to see and make those late runs into the box. That’s something that you don’t necessarily get with Pineda.
“Brad has also shown he’s capable of playing right back and wide in in midfield. It all depends on what we think is the right mix.”
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Whatever Evans offers, his ability to help make those around him better may be the trait his teammates most appreciate.
“Whether he’s playing in the middle or on the right, I know he knows me very well and knows my tendencies,” defender DeAndre Yedlin said. “He’s a guy who will cover for me and also help me out when I’m attacking, help me out when I’m defending. Brad’s going to be great to get back.”