Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans was well into an explanation of his mentality returning from an injury and reintegrating himself into the team when he let out a long sigh.
“I just want to play,” Evans said, summing up everything he had just covered in his 72-second soliloquy in just five words.
Evans has missed just two matches with the knee injury he suffered in the U.S. Open Cup against the Portland Timbers on July 9, but they have been big ones for Seattle. The first was a 2-0 win in league play over the Timbers and the other was a 3-0 loss. In both occasions, Evans was pained to have to watch from a distance, rather than being a part of the fun in victory and trying to contribute to a turnaround in defeat.
“Brad always wants to play. He always wants to be in there. He always wants to be part of the team and part of the group,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid, who got his captain back in training this week as Seattle prepares to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. “Having him out there just gives another quality player for us on the field.”
Evans is in his sixth season with Sounders FC and has 124 career appearances for the Rave Green. This season, he has played 12 matches, playing all across the backline in addition to his more customary midfield roles.
Now, the 29-year-old veteran is working his way back into the team as Sounders FC enters a stretch in the schedule that will see Seattle play eight matches in 34 days.
Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Galaxy, Evans said that the natural reaction would be to try and force the issue, but getting back to the basics is usually the right answer in times of trouble.
“Maybe if you’re younger you want to step in and make an immediate difference. But I think the reality is that we’re going to play good soccer,” Evans said. “When I’m coming into the team, if I happen to start, then it’s just playing my game. That comes a little easier now. Once guys are switched on, it’s just that extra five or ten yards that would have made the difference in the last game.”
Even with the loss to the Galaxy, Seattle still holds the top spot in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings with a 12-5-2 record.