In the past for Sounders FC, that was Roger Levesque.
Clearly now, it’s Brad Evans. And this topic has been covered exhaustively before (here in 2012, here in 2010). His positions played in Seattle have been center mid, right mid, left mid, forward, right back and center back.
The issue came up again recently when Evans was serving with the U.S. men’s national team. He played the first half of a friendly against Canada at center mid and then at halftime switched to right back. Overall, he did well enough in camp to stay for a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Honduras, though he didn’t play.
I asked Sounders coach Sigi Schmid earlier this month if he was surprised by the success Evans had with the national team.
“I’ve always had a lot of faith in Brad,” Schmid said. “I think what he showed the national team is that he had that versatility that he’s always shown here. So his ability to play inside in midfield, to play wide midfield, to play outside back, I think they trained him a day or two at center back, so I think that’s something that’s helped him and something that might make him have some value as they move forward, as well.”
Wait, center back with the USMNT? That, of course, has been a position of concern with the Sounders. Is there any thought of seeing more of that here?
“I played him there a long time ago, in 2005, when he was with the (U.S. under-20s),” Schmid said. “We’ve played him back there a couple practices already, so we know he has the capability to play there if that’s something we need, as well.”
Another position that always comes up with Evans is right back. He’s played it at the national-team level and club-team level in the past 12 months. He played right back for the USMNT under previous coach Bob Bradley, too.
So is right back a position that Evans potentially projects at best, especially with how the Sounders use that position (someone who provides width on the flank with guys like Mauro Rosales or potentially Mario Martinez drifting inside at times)?
“It’s not a bad position for him,” Schmid said. “You want Brad to be in a position where he can use his strengths, and one of his strengths is that he’s got good endurance. He can get up and down the field. He can cover ground. So you can do that in the middle of midfield; you can do that as an outside back. Sometimes it all depends. It depends on what your team needs, what strengths you have, how you put it together to get the best players on the field that makes the best team.”
For me, center mid (Evans’ preferred position) seems to be the Sounders’ biggest need, particularly with all the uncertainty surrounding Christian Tiffert, but what do you think heading into the 2013 season?
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