It seems like no matter what Jurgen Klinsmann tells us with his words and his actions, there are going to be people out there who just don't understand the idea of Brad Evans as a World Cup right back. The latest people seem to be Simon Borg and Jason Saghini at MLSsoccer.com (video above).
By their minds, there are currently six defenders "locked" into spots for the United States in Brazil. Among the players on their "bubble" for those final two spots are Brad Evans, Michael Parkhurst and DeAndre Yedlin. By their thinking, Parkhurst's spot is almost guaranteed because he can play all across the backline. That basically leaves Evans and Yedlin vying for one spot.
While there's some logic in their thinking, I'm just not buying it. Ever since Evans first became a regular last June, Klinsmann has been virtually unwavering in his support. The 28-year-old started five straight World Cup qualifiers at one point and has played in six friendlies over the past 10 months. He's started in 10 of those 11 appearances and gone 90 minutes six times, including four of the qualifiers. Three of his starts in friendlies were also in relatively full-strength sides. Whether observers choose to accept it or not, Klinsmann has put quite a bit of trust into Evans.
Parkhurst has actually played just two fewer games in that time, but just three of them were qualifiers. Two of those qualifiers were in games Evans missed due to injury. The bulk of Parkhurst's appearances have come in Gold Cup games and when Klinsmann was loading his roster with players based in North America. Yes, he's proven to be a capable center back with the Columbus Crew, but he's also been relatively uninspiring as a national team right back.
And while Parkhurst may be the more versatile defender, Evans is at least equally able to move around the field as a midfielder.
If Yedlin really has a chance to make the Brazil roster, I'm more of the mind that it will come at the expense of someone like Parkhurst. While it's tough to see Klinsmann willing to trust Yedlin as a full-time starter, I do think it's entirely possible that he makes the squad as a specialty piece. It's a long shot, to be sure, but at least worth considering.