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The Brad Evans center back experiment is not over

Even if Evans isn't playing center back against FC Dallas, Sounders are committed to giving him time to adjust.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

Brad Evans had a bad game against the San Jose Earthquakes. At least one goal can be hung almost entirely on him, he was at least partially to blame for the two others and he had a few more mistakes that could have proved costly.

But converting him into a center back was always considered a project that would take at least a few months to perfect and the Seattle Sounders don't have any intentions on pulling the plug after one bad game.

"It doesn't change anything," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said on Tuesday. "If you look back at last year, we were pretty consistent with how we approached Stefan Frei. There were some goals there where people said ‘oof, maybe you need to make a change.' We didn't and it worked out well for us at the end of the day.

"Unfortunately, he had a bad game and he's the first one to admit that."

It should also be noted that for all of Evans' struggles in adapting to his new position, he's still managed to show some promise. Evans' 75 successful passes are the 10th most of any defender and only five of those players have done so at a better rate than his 81 percent. And while he has been far from perfect in the air, he is winning 75 percent of his aerial duels, which is the eighth best rate among defenders with at least as many as Evans' eight attempts.

That said, it's entirely possible that Evans won't be at center back for the Sounders' next league match. Tyrone Mears suffered a hamstring injury in the loss to the Earthquakes and although it's not as bad as previously feared -- he apparently already has a full range of motion -- it's possible that he'll miss the FC Dallas match on March 28. One possibility is that the Sounders could move Evans to right back and slide Zach Scott into center back, positions with which they are both more familiar.

While moving Evans around may stunt his learning curve at center back, Schmid reiterated that there's a bigger picture to be concerned about.

"We have to do the best lineup for the game at that point," Schmid said. "It's always making about making the best decision for the team. It's not about making the best decision for Brad in the Dallas game. If that means moving Brad outside and bringing Zach inside, we'll do that. If that means keeping Brad inside and moving someone else outside, we'll do that."

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