Brad Evans has been one of Sounders FC’s leaders the past few seasons, and as such, he has been candid with the media from time to time. One of those instances came Wednesday when the veteran midfielder was asked about the team’s offseason overhaul of the roster.
“It was a year that we had to make some changes,” Evans said. “I’ll be honest with you, it’s a better locker room right now than it was in the past. That doesn’t always guarantee results, but it might push us through those tough times throughout the season where we might find ourselves in a little bit of a rut, and maybe instead of seven, eight games where we’re kind of commiserating, we find ourselves lifted after two or three games or something like that. It’s just a little bit different, a little bit different attitude around here, and we hope that that translates into a good result.”
So did it take Evans time to come to grips with the fact that such changes were needed?
“To be honest, it was time,” he said.
“Every couple years a team is always going to have to go through changes to grow. You get a certain amount of time with a certain group of players, and if you don’t win, you have to change it. Most of time it’s going to be your star players that you try and change and bring them in with other well-known players around the league. That’s just the nature of the game and that’s the business part of it. It sort of it what it is, and we did lose some big names, and some very good players, but I think we’ve also brought in some great players, as well, to fill in the shoes. I think the group is a little bit stronger.”
Evans went on to call the state of the locker room “extremely important.”
“I think it will be different this year than last year,” he added. “Like I said, it doesn’t guarantee results or anything, but you always have to go to a place where you’re comfortable and a place where the guys around you, their spirits are always lifted. We haven’t lost any games yet, so it’s tough to tell if this group is going to stick together or if it’s not. … This is only my first full training with all the guys, but first impressions are it’s a good group of guys and a bunch of hard workers.”
Coach Sigi Schmid, after Evans’ interview, was also asked how much of difference it can make when the locker room is healthy.
“I think everybody is just coming out to practice and working hard,” Schmid said. “You saw practice today — there was good spirit in practice. There was good intensity. Everybody’s pulling for each other, everybody’s pushing for each other, and that’s the important thing from our team standpoint. But I think that’s a little bit the case of the returning guys are disappointed with the final result last year and how the season ended, so they’re motivated, and the new guys are motivated because they’re new. Some are happy for a change of scenery themselves, and that helps their motivation. And then you’ve got young blood in there, draft picks or young players who are trying to make a true name for themselves in the league, so they’ve raised the level of competition. I think the level of competition has been raised in training on a daily basis because of the personalities that we have in terms of where they’re at in their career.”
So what do you think?
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