It was a typical off-day in the Evans household on Monday.
Two days removed from a resounding 4-2 win over FC Dallas, Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans was enjoying the day off and was making lunch in his kitchen when his phone rang. He was about to send the call to voicemail, but then saw the number on caller ID. He quickly turned off the stove, because when Jurgen Klinsmann calls, you drop what you’re doing and answer.
Klinsmann was calling Evans to invite him to US National Team training camp ahead of their three World Cup qualifying matches next month against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. Evans will join the camp on May 27 after the Sounders meet the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.
For the second time this year, Evans has been a late addition to US National Team camp, but he doesn’t mind the late call at all.
“It seems to be the most often thing that happens,” Evans said. “Always being ready, always being prepared, no matter what position you’re going in to play, you always want that call. Especially when it’s not expected, that makes it more surprising or special.”
Those three qualifying matches start with a match at Jamaica on June 7, then the US will host Panama at CenturyLink Field on June 11 before wrapping up this round of matches on June 18 against Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. In addition to the three qualifiers, the US will host friendlies against Belgium and Germany to help prepare for the tough schedule. The match against Belgium come on May 29 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, while the match against Germany will be at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, on June 2.
For Evans, those matches could be further opportunity to prove himself on the international level. He has seven caps for the US and was called in to camp in January for a friendly against Canada that saw him play centermid and rightback. That versatility has come to be his hallmark with the Sounders FC, where he has played every position on the field except goalkeeper at some point during his five seasons in Seattle. And while he has played as a midfielder for most of the time this season, his role with the US is more likely to be on the backline.
“I think it will be up in the air, but I think my focus shifts more towards playing a rightback role,” he said.
Evans is one of 10 current MLS players on the US roster, joining Sounders FC teammate Eddie Johnson in the camp. Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will also be missing two players each while the LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, DC United and Chicago Fire will all have one player in the camp.
“There has been a lot of emphasis on MLS players to step up and show that they belong,” Evans said. “They are just little steps and there is still a lot of room to grow. It’s just about hard work.”