By John Boyle
When talking about his team heading into the offseason, Seattle Sounders general manager/minority owner Adrian Hanauer said he would not address any rumors about player comings and goings, but he did volunteer that, “it’s highly likely that Clint (Dempsey) along with Ozzie (Alonso) and Brad (Evans) form a triumvirate of leaders on the team going forward.”
It should hardly come as a surprise then that the team’s first two moves of the offseason were to lock up Alonso and Evans with new contracts.
A day after Seattle signed Osvaldo Alonso to a new contract that made the midfielder a designated player, the Sounders announced Wednesday they have also signed Evans to a multi-year deal. Evans, a versatile midfielder who has been with the team since its inaugural 2009 season, was at the end of his previous contract, so his return wasn’t a given, but this move insures that Hanauer’s “triumvirate” will be together in 2014.
“Re-signing Brad was a major priority for us,” Hanauer said in a press release. “He has become a leader in the locker room and is a versatile player on the field. Brad exhibits the commitment, values and spirit of playing for the Sounders FC badge.”
Evans, 28, came to Seattle via the 2008 expansion draft, having previously played for Sigi Schmid with the Columbus Crew. He has been a regular in Seattle’s starting lineup at various midfield positions and occasionally filled in as a defender. His 112 games played and 103 starts rank third in team history, a do his 17 goals and 19 assists.
“My goal was to stay in Seattle and I’m very excited to continue my career here,” Evans said in the release. “It’s always an honor to play for this city and these fans. I can’t wait to get back to work with my teammates to prepare for the 2014 season.”
Evans has become a regular with the U.S. national team, though as a right back, not a midfielder, and has a good shot at being a part of next year’s World Cup squad.