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May 24, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Brad Evans on being cut from the USMNT’s final World Cup roster: ‘It’s not a sob story.’

Sounders FC’s Brad Evans spoke to reporters after Saturday’s game in Vancouver. It was the first time he’s taken question since being one of the final seven cuts for the U.S. national’s team final World Cup roster, and here is what he had to say on the matter:

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(How it’d feel to play today?) “Great. You know, put things in the past, and fortunate to get a result on the road. I thought the guys battled hard. Maybe if we eliminate one or two mistakes, we might come out of here with three points, but happy with the boys with the 2-2.”

(What were your feelings on wanting to play right away the disappointing news with the USMNT’s World Cup roster?) “Initially, your feelings are, ‘Put this in the past and I want to run around for 90 minutes and get after it.’ Maybe sometimes that’s not the smartest thing, so took the smart approach. I told him [Schmid] I felt good. I was mentally ready to go. I was into the game. I felt good out there. It was almost as though I just went away for conditioning camp for a week and then came back. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I feel fit. We spoke about it last night and this morning, and there was never a worry about it.”

(How has Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision sunk in after a couple days?) “I had a long delay in the airport on my way back to Seattle, a long time to think, and I got a lot of support from people high up and my peers around me. For me, obviously it’s a tough decision to swallow. I put a lot of effort into that team. I bled for that team, and that’s what I do for any team that I’m on. So it’s a hard pill to swallow. At the end of the day, it’s a decision that can’t be revoked. Now it’s time to move to the Sounders. With the support that I’ve gotten from the fans and my team, right now there is no other team I’d want to be with.”

(Did Klinsmann talk to you about it?) “Nope. He just said, ‘I have to make a roster decision today and you’re not a part of it.’ So that’s where we left it. I got up and said goodbye to the players and that was it.”

(Did the timing come as a surprise to you?) “Oh yeah, absolutely. I had no idea. Those training sessions are split in two and a couple guys from the first group got let go earlier, so we were walking into the locker room, got pulled aside, and that was it. Chop chop, you’re out of there.”

(Had you been training at center back?) “Yeah, I trained at center back the whole time at camp, so maybe I saw the writing on the wall initially when I got in. Omar was injured, so my versatility allowed me to play that position but maybe that bit me in the butt in the end. I only played 30 minutes at right back in one of the games and the rest of the time I was at center back.”

(When did your Ronaldo tweet occur to you and what response has you seen?) “It was all in good fun. I was sitting in the airport, like I said, a long delay, and for whatever reason it popped into my head. It’s not a sob story. Nobody passed away. It’s part of the game. It is what it is. My career is not over. I’m not leaving the game. I’ve signed a new three-year contract. I’ve got nothing else but to be proud of what I’ve accomplished and what we continue to do here in Seattle.”

(Did the training help in playing center back today?) “Yeah, it was great. It was fun. I felt good. It was about 15 minutes. Playing a week pretty much consistently the whole time maybe helped out today.”

(Some people out there had been wanting to put you on the plane as a lock for the final team. You never bought into that. Do you think that mentality helped you accept the decision?) “I think so. Yeah. I was a consistent starter. Whenever I was called in, I was starting with that team, so maybe that hurts a little bit. But like I said before, nothing’s done until it’s done, and that’s the attitude that I took. Maybe that helped me out now in terms of being able to move forward and hold my head high and look back over the past year. Everything that happened was kind of last minute with it, so it was a fun ride and it’s over now. But now, like I said, I continue on with the Sounders. We’re at 26 points and we’re sitting alright. We got a lot of work to do, but my focus now is Sounders. But like you said, I wasn’t going to be comfortable until I was there. And then once I was on the plane, I wasn’t going to be comfortable until I was in the starting eleven. And then I wasn’t going to be comfortable until I started the next game. You know what I mean? The way that Sigi’s always said it is you’re remembered by your last performance, and that’s kind of the approach that I took.”

(Would you have preferred to stuck around for some games or is it better to take the band-aid off now?) “I think I would’ve liked to prove myself in that position and prove continuously that I can play that position. For whatever reason, I wasn’t looked at in that position and was thought that I couldn’t perform there. Maybe now, obviously looking back, get it over with. Then you’re not even coming into camp at all. That probably would’ve been a better decision, to stay with the team and get some games here. Not to say it wasn’t a great time with the boys, and it’s cool to be around in that environment, but it was only 10 days. It wasn’t like I was gone for a month. I guess pull the band-aid off quickly. The storm that was Landon Donovan, it’s easier to get it over with now and not deal with that leading into the World Cup. … I’m at peace with the decision.”

(Do you think Klinsmann had a clear picture of his 23 before the camp?) “I don’t know. Part of me says yes. Part of me says no. I don’t know. It’s something I haven’t even thought about. It’s tough to think about that (stuff). It can drive you nuts.”

(What would you say to those who think it might get awkward with DeAndre Yedlin making the team and not you?) “I’m 29 years old. I’m not going to get upset because my teammate is in that position and he’s going in. I’ve got nothing but hopes for him to get in the games. If he does get in the games, he’s going to perform well. I’m happy for everybody that’s there. It’s a great group of guys, No. 1. If I was upset, I’d be upset, but the reality is I’m not. I’m happy for those guys and the team has got a bright future.”

(Were you able to tell Yedlin anything?) “No, I had no idea. The last time I saw him he was driving on his way to weights. I didn’t know what the deal was. I didn’t know anybody else that was being cut or anything.”

(Do you think your injury this season played into the decision at all?) “No. I don’t think so. No. Just another thing to think about and make me upset, but no. I don’t think. I was fit. I played three games in a row leading up to that. They knew what I could do. It’s a decision they made, and that’s it.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats, World Cup


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