By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
Seattle Sounders have wrapped up what general manager Adrian Hanauer calls its “triumvirate of leaders” for the 2014 Major League Soccer season and beyond.
On Wednesday, the Sounders announced the signing of midfielder, defender and sometimes-captain Brad Evans to a multi-year contract extension. Terms were not announced.
The move came a day after club MVP Osvaldo Alonso was signed to a long-term designated player contract, and it follows the August DP signing of U.S. national team captain Clint Dempsey.
Hanauer had signaled Seattle’s commitment to the three players soon after the 2013 season ended earlier this month in the Western Conference semifinals.
“It’s highly likely that Clint, along with Ozzie, along with Brad Evans, form a triumvirate of leaders on the team going forward,” Hanauer said at the time. “Along with a number of other guys on the team, we feel like we have a very good core going into the offseason.”
Evans, 28, is the lone Sounder remaining from the 2009 expansion draft, when he was selected from then-MLS-champion Columbus. He had joined the Crew as a second-round (15th overall) pick in the 2007 SuperDraft out of UC Irvine.
He ranks third in Sounders career games (112), starts (103), goals (17) and assists (19) and fourth in minutes (8,900). In 2013, he recorded a career-high five assists and added four goals. He scored the game-winning goal against Colorado in the MLS playoffs knockout round.
Evans also has 16 appearances with the U.S. national team, including a career-high 10 in 2013.
“Re-signing Brad was a major priority for us,” Hanauer said in a club 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 has primarily played midfield for the Sounders, but also can play outside defense, which is his spot with the national team. Evans has worn the captain’s armband in Seattle, and he has expressed eagerness to continue in a leadership role.
“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.”