After his admittedly awful performance against the San Jose Earthquakes, fans seem to be dying to pile on Brad Evans. To a degree that's fair. He had a bad game and very much looks like a player who is still learning to play center back.
But for anyone to watch the two goals that the Seattle Sounders gave up to Club Tijuana on Tuesday and decide that Evans was primarily at fault on either is simply crazy. Here's a long look at both goals:
#VIDEO: Check out the first half goals of the international friendly Club Tijuana vs. Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. #GOXOLOSPosted by Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente-English on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The first one is all on Gonzalo Pineda. There probably isn't a center back in all of MLS who is able to control that pass and there might only be a few in the world capable of doing it. Maybe Evans should have simply retreated and put himself into a better defensive position, but the damage was mostly already done when the ball left Pineda's foot.
On the second, that really has nothing to do with Evans. Oniel Fisher and Micheal Azira are the deep players there and neither puts themselves in any kind of position to properly defend the counter-attack. Azira has no business trying to cut off that pass knowing that if he doesn't get it, Xolos are free on goal. Fisher, meanwhile, seems to be paying no attention to the left flank where he just allows the runner to go past without so much as shooting him a dirty look.
Both goals show a pretty dramatic defensive failing and to the degree that Evans is probably the guy expected to organize the defenders to some degree, he bears some of the blame. But let's be real about what happened here: Evans was caught in a train wreck, not the cause of it.