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Player Profile: #6 Brad Evans

Was it his last year as a multi-tool? If so it was a damn good one.

Jane G Photo

In 2014 Brad Evans played the following roles for Seattle Sounders FC - right back, left back, central midfielder, right midfielder, left midfielder and center back. With the United States National Team he slotted in the backfield exclusively. All indications are that in 2015 his role is more firm.

The more than 2200 minutes in 30 MLS appearances were wrapped around key World Cup qualifying matches, friendlies and Open Cup play. Evans was as healthy as he's been. On the field he showed his positional flexibility, tactical knowledge and that he was the perfect partner for DeAndre Yedlin.

Maybe more than any other player, in any role, Evans value is not about statistics. Box scores will only rarely show his value on the pitch. His advanced metrics tend to be average or above average, but none are great. He is a bard. Not Shakespeare or Chaucer, he's the bard from role-playing. B-Rad can do anything. It is in his variety that his talent rises.

Brad Evans graphic

Offense:

Brad Evans makes great secondary runs. That skill stands out more than most. He is in the space where he is supposed to be and then he rapidly captures new spaces opening up passing angles that few players can see. He is also a solid passer. Evans at times plays a conservative ball, but is one of the best at playing a pass that opens the recipient up to completing a threatening one/two-touch ball. He is not  a good shooter, if he were those late runs would be unstoppable. Can pick up scrap or be a secondary target on set-pieces.

Defense:

If a team has a systematic approach to breaking down the Sounders, it must not go anywhere near B-Rad. The man fills passing lanes. This does not lead to interceptions. He fills the space before the pass is made, forcing opponents to slow their plan down. He is a decent tackler, going to ground only as necessary. He is one of the best midfielders in the league when it comes to winning air duels. Can guard large bodies in set-piece crowds.

Physique:

Evans has a history of fragility, but plays the game without fear of injury. Goes in hard on tackles. Not fast, willing runner.

Best Case 2015:

As one of the top 20 centerbacks in the league. As AJ paired with Omar and provided great passing and ability to fill space properly, Evans can do that and can do it while also winning balls in the air. That's the payoff to the move.