The Sounders FC enters the second leg of their Western Conference Championship series with the LA Galaxy trailing 3-0 and by now it has been well-documented that Seattle has been in this position before, climbing nearly all the way back when facing the same deficit against Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinal in 2011 only to fall 3-2 on aggregate.
In that second leg, midfielder Brad Evans played just 21 minutes when an ankle injury ended his match, forcing head coach Sigi Schmid to make his second substitution because of injury.
Because of that, he has a different perspective when the Sounders face the Galaxy on Sunday with their season on the line.
“Guys who fill in on our team have done it admirably, but you want to be playing in the most important games,” Evans said. “You want to be playing against the best players. You want to test yourself and there is no better time than in the playoffs.”
Evans left the match just minutes after Alvaro Fernandez also was forced out of the match by an injury suffered at the heavy-handed tactics to open the match by Real Salt Lake. Already playing without Mauro Rosales because of a knee injury, the Sounders turned to Lamar Neagle and Roger Levesque in that match.
The Sounders didn’t get on the board until the Osvaldo Alonso scored in the 56th minute. Neagle added another in the 61st minute, but the series equalizer never came.
While the effort was valiant, it was still a difficult way for the Sounders to end their season.
“I think the worst part about it is looking back and wondering ‘What if?’,” he said.
Though Evans was watching from the bench, he still learned valuable lessons from the match – lessons that will help the Sounders prepare for the showdown with the Galaxy on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
“We have to come out and we have to battle like there’s no tomorrow,” he said. “We almost pulled it out last year and there’s no reason we can’t do it again.”
Kickoff is set for 6 pm Pacific with television coverage on ESPN. Tickets are available at SoundersFC.com.