Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers
MLS Cup Playoffs; Western Conference Semifinals
November 7, 2013, 8 pm PT; JELD-WEN Field
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network; 97.3 FM
Brad Evans is a man of many hats and already in the MLS Cup Playoffs, he has donned several of them. If he has his way, he will add more to his collection after the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal series with the Portland Timbers on Thursday at JELD-WEN Field.
Thus far in the playoffs, Evans has started as an outside midfielder in Seattle’s diamond-shaped midfield, but has also made moves to right back, as Seattle has had injuries to both players that have started in that role in matches against the Colorado Rapids in the Knockout Round and the Timbers in the first leg of the conference semis. Adjusting on the fly in a different role is nothing new for Evans though.
“I’ve always been that type of player and I’ll continue to be that type of player,” Evans said. “When you’re chasing the game, things get a bit hectic. Floating into that position isn’t as comfortable as starting in that position, but filling in where needed is never a problem.”
Evans has played every field position in his five seasons with Sounders FC for at least a brief period in a match and, while he has played most often in the middle of midfield, has become a staple at the right back position for the U.S. National Team after five starts there in World Cup qualifying this year and seven starts overall.
In addition, the seventh-year MLS veteran has now taken on the role of captain, wearing the armband while the club’s captain over the last two seasons, Mauro Rosales, has been held out of the starting lineup.
A position he’s been reluctant to fill in the past, Evans now embraces the captaincy as one of the strongest personalities in the Sounders FC locker room.
“I’m happy. I’m ready to take that on. I’m in a position that I think I can contribute and focus on my game, but also have a leadership role as well,” he said. “First and foremost, it’s an honor to put on a captain’s armband and anytime you watch it go somewhere else, you think what you can do to have it on your arm.”
What else can Evans do as Sounders FC faces its biggest rivals in the MLS Cup Playoffs?
“I’d be more than happy to play the villain,” Evans said with a devilish grin. “Hopefully the spoiler.”