TUKWILA, Wash. – To the surprise of even the Seattle Sounders, Brad Evans will be available for selection on Saturday.
Whether he actually suits up against the Vancouver Whitecaps (7 pm ET; MLS Live, TSN2 in Canada) – just a couple of days after being among the final cuts for the US World Cup roster – is not something that will be determined until the day of the game.
“We’ll see because he had a very intense training,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said “They haven’t really had any days off, so we’ll see where he’s at physically.”
Although Evans has not played a match since going 90 minutes for the Sounders on May 11, he has spent the better part of the last couple of weeks training with the USMNT. He was a full participant in Friday’s Sounders training session but was not made available to the media.
The concern over Evans is not just a physical one, either.
“Sometimes that situation is something that takes a while to settle in,” said Schmid of Evans’ exclusion from the 23-man roster heading to next month’s World Cup. “It really hits home the first time you see the team play and aren’t part of it.”
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Schmid noted that he helped defender Chad Marshall deal with a similar situation in 2010 while with the Columbus Crew and Taylor Twellman in 2006.
“I’ve known Brad a long time,” Schmid said. “Not just Brad, but any player, what you’re going to do is keep a stiff upper lip, put a good face on it and you’re going to try to be strong. But there’s pain inside. If you don’t walk away with some pain inside, you’re not human. It’s going to take a little bit of time.
“He’s a strong guy, a strong character. This team means a lot to him, this organization means a lot to him and when he steps onto the field he’s going to be 100 percent committed.”