Brad Evans is a fighter, and he’s ready to go down swinging.
The Seattle Sounders captain is one of a handful of veterans on a January camp squad that includes 10 uncapped players, six players with two or less caps, and 10 players eligible for the U-23 MNT.
And while he has fully embraced his role as a mentor, he’s not ready to give away his chance to represent his country on the field.
Evans was on the U.S. U-20 team at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands and has earned 25 caps with the MNT since making his debut on July 4, 2009, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Although he played a huge role in helping the U.S. qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and was on the 30-man preliminary roster, he was not chosen to go to Brazil.
Entering his 10th professional season and having won one MLS Cup and five U.S. Open Cup titles, the versatile defender is not looking ahead to anything other than the USA’s upcoming friendlies against Iceland (Jan. 31) and Canada (Feb. 5) at StubHub Center in Carson, California, which will conclude the team’s 2016 January Camp.
“Your dreams always change as a player and are ever evolving,” Evans said of his advice to his younger teammates. “There were times after the last World Cup cycle when I didn’t make the team that I thought my career with the National Team was over, so it was in the back of my mind. And before you know it, three months after the World Cup you’re back in the mix.
“So you just have to worry about today. As a young guy, your eyes are pretty big and wide. They say at that time the world is your oyster, so why not dream a little bit bigger. But these are all very good pros, guys that play on their MLS teams, so they’ve been through their ups and downs by themselves. Just knowing that a career is generally a bit of a roller coaster, being ready to be along for the ride and enjoying it is most important.”