There is an interesting dichotomy in Major League Soccer. If you have good players, you will likely lose them to national team duty.
So, while the Sounders FC go through the rigors of training camp, they will do so in the coming weeks without midfielder Brad Evans, who was called to US National Team training camp for their February 24 game against El Salvador.
This news comes one week after defender Tyrone Marshall missed three days of training camp to go with the Jamaican National Team for a 1-0 friendly win over Canada on Sunday.
For one, it is a player finding his way into international play, and for the other, it is a long career of national team play winding down.
Evans made his national team debut last summer and was again called in to training camp prior to the start of MLS camp this year. He did not see action, but credited the camp for narrowing his focus on how to develop in his position.
“I’m looking forward to playing a little bit better. I think I learned a lot from the last camp. A goal this time is to make the 18-man roster for sure,” said Evans, noting that he was somewhat surprised to get the call. “There’s always a chance, but not making the last 18, I thought it might not happen this time around.”
While it is a critical time for the Sounders as they anticipate more team development when they go to Spain, it is also a big time for the US National Team as they prepare for the 2010 World Cup in June. Nevertheless, Evans has a positive outlook on the rest of Sounders camp and the possibility of playing against El Salvador.
“I feel better coming into the camp a little bit more sharp. But I’m happy to be going back in (with USMNT),” Evans said. “It’s a crucial time for the Sounders as well. Things like this are good bonding experiences and Spain will be a good trip to get the guys together. Unfortunately, for the first part of it I won’t be there.”
“If I do call it quits then I went out on a good note playing in front of family and friends at home. I didn’t want to do it without playing on Jamaican soil. If I decide tomorrow that it’s the day, then I can walk away with my head up because I won in my last game on Jamaican soil,” Marshall said.
Though he has hinted at it at times, Marshall has not yet decided what his international future holds.
“I don’t want to say it’s my last, but it’s definitely close to being my last. It’s a lot of wear and tear on your body and with all the travel and this not being a qualifying year,” Marshall said. “My first priority is the Sounders and making sure that I can give 100 percent every time I step on the field. If I don’t have 100 in the tank it’s going to be tough on me to get on the pitch and play. That being said, I’m definitely looking to scale back on the national team call-ups.”
With or without their many potential national team players, the Sounders FC will continue training camp at Grande Sports World in Arizona through February 11, when they face the Vancouver Whitecaps in a training game before returning to Seattle for a few days off.