By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Brad Evans was back at training Friday, but wearing the rave green of the Seattle Sounders rather than the red, white and blue of the United States national soccer team.
After training, Evans accompanied the Sounders to Vancouver, where they play the Whitecaps at 4 p.m. today. However, coach Sigi Schmid was not certain if Evans will be on the game-day roster so soon after his return from the national team camp.
“He’s had a very intense week of training,” Schmid said. “They really haven’t had any days off, so we’ll see where he’s at physically and make the decision (today).”
Evans was not made available to the media Friday. However, his physical condition wasn’t all that was in question so soon after learning that he had not made the 23-man roster that U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann will take to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil next month.
“That situation is something that takes a while sometimes to settle in,” Schmid said. “… It probably really hits home the first time you see the team play and you’re not part of it — that’s when it really hits home.”
Schmid said the Sounders’ “didn’t make a big thing” of Evans’ return. But he said they understood some of the emotions he must be feeling. Schmid added that defender Chad Marshall, who is Evans’ roommate on the road, “is happy to have Brad back.”
The club also was happy for Sounders forward/midfielder Clint Dempsey and right back DeAndre Yedlin, who made the 23-man U.S. roster.
There hadn’t been much suspense about Dempsey’s return to the World Cup. However, Yedlin’s selection at age 20 was received nationally as one of Klinsmann’s top surprises.
“It’s fantastic for DeAndre and his situation — as young as he is, as inexperienced as he is right now at the international level — to get that opportunity and to get that exposure,” Schmid said. “… He’s made great strides since he’s played here. There are still things he can become better at. I’m sure Jurgen feels the same way, and I know DeAndre feels the same way. But he’s continuing to grow, he’s continuing to develop, and this is just another step in that development.”
Yedlin and Dempsey return to action Tuesday when the USA begins its three-game Send-Off Series against Azerbaijan in San Francisco. The series continues June 1 against Turkey at Harrison, New Jersey, and concludes June 7 against Nigeria at Jacksonville, Florida.
Another of Klinsmann’s controversial decisions was the omission of three-time World Cup veteran Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“If you picked five coaches from across the U.S. and said, ‘Here’s your pool of 30, pick your final 23,’ you’d have five different 23s,” Schmid said. “Everybody would differ at some point on maybe two or three players. You might agree on 17-20 of them, and then the other three you’re going to differ on. That’s just natural.”