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June 12, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Brad Evans: ‘Now that it’s here, you better believe that it will be more to come.’

Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Sounders FC’s Brad Evans started his third game in a row for the U.S. national team, and second-straight FIFA World Cup qualifier in Tuesday’s 2-0 home against Panama at CenturyLink Field. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann said afterward that Evans is still growing into being a right back but that he’s “making a very strong case for himself in our group to play that role.”

Here is a transcript of a postgame chat with Seattle’s other hometown hero from the night:

*     *     *

(On playing in that game…) “It was insane. From warm-ups to thanking the crowd after the game, it was absolutely nuts — but to be expected. It’s nothing new. Not surprising at all.”

(On the defensive chemistry…) “I think the chemistry is going well. I think we’re playing well as a unit. Most important, we’ve got each other’s backs and I think we respect each other enough to know that we’re going to make mistakes, and it’s up to each other to lift each other up and keep going when mistakes happen. I think that lies more in my case having not really played that position much, and that constant feed of information from the guys behind me, to the side, and even Eddie tonight giving me information. So I think it’s going well and I think it gives us confidence going forward that we can still be better.”

(On Eddie Johnson’s goal…) “Just so happy for him. He put in the work tonight, offensively and defensively. He helped me out so much. We tried to get on the same page before the game, and I think in the Germany game there were times where I should’ve stayed with my man, he should’ve stayed with his, so we really tried to concentrate on playing together and really try to lock the side down. They were still looking for the balls over top, and good teams and players are going to find a way someway to break you down. And they did a couple times tonight, but I thought Eddie and myself did well. For him to turn it on in the second half and still have that energy, that pace and that endurance to get in behind and score that goal was something special. To do it in front of your home crowd, he’ll remember that one forever.”

(On Jozy Altidore’s run of form…) “I think any club team, national team, whatever it is, that’s who you want scoring is your striker. You want him hot, and he’s done extremely well from that Germany game on. He’s been an absolute beast up front. For 90 minutes, putting in the work, it’s really impressive to see. I’m happy for him. He’s really showing his ability. He’s still so young, but his talent is just endless. He’s an extremely good player.”

(On earning a clean sheet…) “Huge. I think everybody was extremely happy getting out of here with a zero in the back, so for us, like I said, it gives us confidence going forward, but we have another really tough test against Honduras.”

(On the team’s performance…) “I thought that we were extremely strong tonight. I thought on the break and on the counterattack, we were lightning fast in breaking out. And guys, the up-, back- and through passing was quality. Geoff and Michael winning those second balls really cleaned up and made things a lot easier for us on defense. Thinking back on my game, I know there’s a couple missed passes, maybe being a little more patient on the ball, but that will come with time. I think the coaches told me, ‘Don’t over-think the position now. Just try to play your game and bring what you do in the midfield to the defense.’ And hopefully I settle in a little bit more and get the ball rolling. But yeah, overall, very happy with the team performance.”

(On the passing…) “I thought our passing was awesome tonight. We did a lot of passes in warmups the other day in training — just to get used to the field. Tonight I thought was the passing was awesome. It was excellent. The most important thing was guys were moving off each other more than maybe we were in the previous games, and that makes things easier and opens things up faster.”

(On if his teammates said anything about the atmosphere…) “All of them. Everybody is so impressed. It’s really gratifying for them to be outspoken about it and say, ‘You guys have something special here.’ Why it took so long to get one here, it is what it is. But now that it’s here, you better believe that it will be more to come in the future. Hopefully it becomes a venue like Columbus or things like that where it’s every World Cup cycle you get a good game here, because the crowd was absolutely insane tonight. The guys had nothing but positive things to say tonight.”

(On the field…) “The grass, I thought, was OK today. It was a little bit shorter than yesterday in training, so I think the ball played a little bit better. Yeah, there weren’t many complaints about the grass at all. Nothing much about the grass.”


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