SEATTLE – Seattle Sounders defender Brad Evans is on Jurgen Klinsmann’s 22-man roster for the US national team’s pair of friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany.
Forward Clint Dempsey, however, is not.
Dempsey’s omission may come as a surprise to some of the USMNT faithful who have grown accustomed to seeing the 32-year-old World Cup captain lead the US. But the Sounders say the reason for the absence is just family-related, as Dempsey is currently expecting the birth of his fourth child in June.
“Clint’s wife is pregnant,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said following Seattle’s 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. “So she’s due and so the decision there from U.S. Soccer and from Jurgen was just to stay closer. It’s tough to fly back from Amsterdam or Dusseldorf if your wife’s going to deliver. So that’s his reasoning there. That’s the reason Clint wasn’t called in.”
Evans, who is capable of playing in either the midfield or the backline, said after the New York game that he has discussed his role with Klinsmann and he expects to play at either right back or center back for the US in the friendlies. Evans made a full-time switch to center back for the Sounders this season after predominately playing as a midfielder or outside back in previous years.
“I had a conversation with Jurgen at the last camp and he saw me as a right back or center back and strictly that,” Evans said. “Maybe it helps out that I’ve played consistently in that position. They know what they’re getting, they know what to expect. You just hope to make an impact.”
Schmid said that the scheduling of the friendlies mean that the Sounders will be without Evans for their next game, a road matchup against Sporting Kansas City on June 6. But he should be back in time for Seattle’s home game against FC Dallas on June 13.
“It’s great [for Evans],” Schmid said. “The game that they’re playing in Holland is outside the FIFA date. If they would have played those games within the FIFA date we would have missed him on the 13th of June. So now, we miss him on the sixth but we have him back for the 13th.”