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June 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Brad Evans likely to start Tuesday for U.S. (notes from coach Jurgen Klinsmann)

US Centennial shield-01-1.jpgU.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke with reporters at halftime of Saturday’s Sounders-Whitecaps game, and here were a few highlights:

*     *     *

— You have to start, of course, with Brad Evans, who has jumped into the starting lineup at right back and scored the game-winner Friday in Jamaica. “He took that opportunity,” Klinsmann said. “We spoke before camp about it. I spoke a couple times at length with Sigi (Schmid) here, and we felt it’s the right moment for him to get that opportunity — and he took it. We’re very pleased and looking forward to Tuesday night to another one.”

— In a some team news, Klinsmann said midfielder Danny Williams has left the team to get some rest ahead of the next season. It sounds like he wasn’t going to be able to contribute in these upcoming games. “It was the case that we tried every day, catching up, catching up,” Klinsmann said. “And then we looked at him and I took the decision, together with the coach at Hoffenheim, to release him and let him go on vacation and kind of get some rest and start the next season on a fresh foot basically.”

— Forward Herculez Gomez, a former lower-leagues Sounder, is unlikely to play Tuesday against Panama due to a knee injury that’s been bothering him. Midfielder Jermaine Jones will undergo concussion testing Monday morning. Midfielder Brek Shea continues to do fitness work in Dallas and there’s no rush to bring him back, Klinsmann said.

— As of now, there are no plans to call any other players into camp in their place, even when adding in the suspension of midfielder Graham Zusi. “At the moment, we’re all good,” the coach said.

— Panama will also be without a key player, as forward Blas Perez (of FC Dallas) didn’t make the trip due to gastroenteritis issues.

— Klinsmann said he hadn’t gone down to see the temporary grass surface yet, one the Whitecaps think contributed to an injury to defender Andy O’Brien. “Whatever it is, it is,” Klinsmann said. “Both teams have to play on it. We hope it’s in good shape, but we’ll check it out.”

— When it comes to ticket sales, Klinsmann said he didn’t know how many were sold and that’s he’s not worried about it: “I’m more concerned about my team.”

— Klinsmann referred to Tuesday as a must-win game (“Every home game is a must win,” he said), and he’s hopeful Seattle’s crowd support will provide a boost: “That is one of the big reasons why we are here is because the atmosphere is always tremendous here in Seattle. The support from the fans for their team is outstanding. They’re one of the top fans here in the United States, and we want to enjoy that. We want to show them a good game and win this game badly. We are all looking forward to it. It’s not very often we can come to the Northwest with all of the European guys because it’s always challenging during a normal season for the Europeans to go all the way to the West Coast because of the nine-hour time difference. Now there is an opportunity, we kind of wanted it badly, and we are looking forward to it.”


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