Sigi Schmid

Brad Evans, Sigi Schmid say U.S. team will be champing at the bit in Copa America finale

TUKWILA, Wash. - The American dream came to an end for Clint Dempsey and his United States teammates on Tuesday as they fell to Lionel Messi and top- ranked Argentina 4-0 in the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario.

As a member of the United States national team pool, Seattle Sounders defender Brad Evans knows how it feels to compete in big games, and sometimes come up short 

“Knowing after you compete against a team like that and you don’t play your best,” he said, “You want to compete again and again and again to show that when you do play good soccer, you can still break world class teams down, and the U.S. team can do that.”

Prior to the decisive loss on Tuesday, the U.S. were playing arguably as well as they have in recent years, outscoring their opponents 7-1 over the last three games of the tournament. While most expected the U.S. to lose against the best team in the world, those who know the U.S. program well know it was an off day for the Americans.

“Obviously they could have played better,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Some days it doesn’t bounce for you, but I’m sure if they could play that game again they all would love to play it again and put in a better performance.”

The U.S. still have one more game in this Copa America tournament, a third-place consolation match against either Colombia or Chile on Saturday.

“I know that the guys will be champing at the bit to get out there and show that they can compete,” Evans said. “After you lose a game like that to Argentina the next thing you want to do is go out on Saturday and say ‘alright, I want to do that again because I know that I can show better.’”

Sounders may be “inches” from going on a run

On Sunday, the Sounders traveled coast to coast to take on the New York Red Bulls in a match that saw the visitors generate 16 shots and still walk away scoreless. Of those 16 shots, only three were on target, and with the Sounders logging the second fewest goals in the league, it’s a persistent plague that the team is working on day in and day out.

“We’ve got to be clinical in front of goal,” said Evans. “The guys are out here working on finishing. Once that clicks and the ball starts finding the back of the net, we hope to get on a roll and start climbing the latter a bit.”

The Sounders will have the luxury of facing the most porous back line in the league in NYCFC, who have conceded 31 goals in 16 games. Better yet, the Sounders will get to do it at home, where they are unbeaten in three games this season against Eastern Conference opponents (3-0-0).

Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. PT (ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM in Spanish).

“We’ve got to make home our fortress,” Schmid said. “We can’t let anybody take anything away from us at home anymore.”

It’s been a tumultuous season for the Sounders, and with a third of the season over with they still find themselves in a position on the table that they aren’t used to. However, in an unpredictable league such as MLS, Evans knows that rises and falls aren’t uncommon and the team believes they have a chance to reverse their luck.

“I think knowing that at any point, anybody can go on a seven, eight game win streak and things can turn around,” he said. “That’s the way you have to look at it. That’s the way it sometimes is. We can keep saying it’s a streaky league but we have to catch ourselves on one of those streaks and start getting W’s.”



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