Evans: Seattle Sounders "had to play our hearts out" to advance past Dallas

FRISCO, Tex. -- Up 3-0 going into the decisive leg of the Western Conference semifinals, the Seattle Sounders knew Sunday's second leg in the series would not be an easy match.

And in fact, the Sounders lost on Sunday, 2-1 to FC Dallas at Toyota Park, but that blow was relieved with the series result being 4-2 in Seattle's favor, and they will move on to the Western Conference Championship.

So how did the Sounders take care of business to advance? Midfielder Brad Evans discussed the expectations heading into the second leg following the match.

“They came out and pressed,” he said. “We knew the situation and you can prepare as much as you want, but when you come into a place up 3-0, we all knew they were going to throw everything they had at us and they showed why they were able to win two trophies this year. We were lucky to only be down 1-0 at half.”

Evans knew that the team needed to get forward more and emphasize their passing game. And part of that was courtesy of the captain himself, who has been hobbled with a leg injury, and who came off the bench in the closing minutes to help see the result out.

“We made a few adjustments at halftime so we could get forward more,” he said. “We knew if we could connect on one, two, or three passes that we would be able to break their pressure and that was big for us with the numbers they threw at us which helped us break on the counter and get a crucial away goal that got us into the next round."

Up against the top seed in the West and the team that matched the domestic double the Sounders themselves notched in 2014, Evans noted the accomplishment, in a year in which Seattle's very place in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs was not guaranteed until the final day of the regular season.

“All we knew is this team has won two trophies this year,” he said. “We were able to advance past this squad and that is a big accomplishment for this team. It is extremely difficult to win a treble and Dallas is very very good team. We had to play our hearts out.”

Now, Seattle get ready for the Western Conference Championship which begins on Nov. 22 where they will go up against the Colorado Rapids. Evans is ready for the challenge against the runner-up of the Supporters’ Shield race.

“I think we match up and I think both teams are good on any given day,” he said. “Both teams are capable of producing some magic, but we will see what will happen with [Shkelzen] Gashi as I know he went down with an injury. If he is out, that changes things for them I think, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.”