With success comes recognition.Last season, the Sounders made waves in the four competitions they played in and players have since gotten the spoils from those efforts.
On Sunday, US Soccer announced National Team camp invites for Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson in the 25-man roster for January camp, showing that their success with the club in 2012 caught the eye of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Players begin reporting on Monday in Carson, California, as the US prepares for a friendly against Canada ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Honduras on February 6 in the Hexagonal round of the CONCACAF region’s tournament. The match against Canada is slated for January 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston with television coverage on ESPN2 for the 6 pm Pacific kickoff.
“There is a tremendous amount of talent in the player pool. We follow these players very carefully, and the group coming in is the next line to challenge the players ahead of them in the National Team,” said Klinsmann in a release from US Soccer. “This is absolutely a huge opportunity, and we’re looking forward to working with them. We are getting ready for the friendly against Canada, and also the big World Cup qualifier in Honduras, so these are going to be an important few weeks of preparation.”
For Evans, it is the third January camp in the last four years. The Seattle midfielder made his US debut on July 4, 2009, at CenturyLink Field, subbing in to a 4-0 win over Grenada and has six caps to his credit.
He has four goals and four assists in 29 league matches – seven goals and five assists in 40 matches across all competitions – and proved a vital component to the club in several desperate situations. Twice he made the move to right back for crucial matches and during one late-season match against Real Salt Lake even moved to center back when injuries and a red card thinned the back line. After the midseason addition of Christian Tiffert, Evans moved to the left side of midfield and exceled, netting three of his four MLS goals while starting on the left.
That versatility is undoubtedly appealing to Klinsmann.
Johnson, meanwhile, enjoyed a great resurgence in 2012. After four years in Europe that saw him bounce around to several different clubs, Johnson returned to MLS and was named Comeback Player of the Year after posting 14 goals and three assists in 28 matches.
His return to form also put him back in the good graces of the US National Team. After two years without an appearance, Johnson rocketed back to the scene with two goals on October 12 against Antigua and Barbuda, then added an assist in a win over Guatemala to clinch a berth in the Hexagonal round.
Johnson has 14 goals in 44 appearances for the US.
Evans and Johnson are joined by former teammate Jeff Parke, who was traded to the Philadelphia Union in the offseason after three seasons with the Sounders FC. The roster includes 21 MLS players with 12 of the 19 clubs in the league represented.
The Sounders begin training camp for their fifth MLS season on January 21. The duo will rejoin the Sounders in training at the conclusion of camp with the US squad.