Only a few minutes after earning and converting what turned out to be the winning goal, Seattle Sounders captain Brad Evans was sent off against the Vancouver Whitecaps for what referee Ricardo Salazar deemed an attempted headbutt on center back David Edgar. This is what Evans had to say, in full, about the incident:
“Corner kick comes in, Edgar’s pulling me back, it’s definitely a PK. So I get up, he says it’s not, he leans in, puts his head on mine. If you look at the replay, my mouth, I’m saying ‘you can’t do that’ and give him a ‘fuck off’ and a head gesture, never made contact with him. If I had made contact with him, I think the whole stadium would have absolutely freaked out and he would have gone down in heaps. But he barely even turns around and asks for a red card, and sure enough Salazar brings a card out of his pocket and says ‘OK, here’s a red.’ So no contact made, he makes contact with my face first, not much really to say there.”
Evans said he hopes the red card is rescinded, because “there’s no blood, there’s no foul, there’s nothing there.” He said after seeing the replay, he thinks his intent and action will be pretty clear in his defense.
Even before the red card, Evans was having a wild match. He had entered as a 65th minute substitute and was playing in the midfield, a rarity since converting to defense full time last year. But Evans was able to draw a penalty with a dangerous-looking cross into the box that struck Jordan Harvey’s arm and then stepped up to take the spot kick.
Evans said he saw Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted look to the bench, probably to get intel on Evans’ penalty habits. Between that look and a slight twitch by Ousted, Evans said he changed his corner “at the last second.” Sure enough, Ousted went left, where Evans prefers to send his penalties (and where Blas Perez was telling him to go), and Evans buried his penalty to put his team up 2-1. Evans improved to 9-for-9 on penalties all-time.
Evans praised his teammates for battling to such a difficult victory, as well as picking up wins in their other two matches in the last week. “Another hard-fought win, third game in 8 days for the boys, two on the road, one at home, and we come out with 9 points, can’t say enough about the guys in that span.” He likened the club’s historic run in the last couple months to a dog that’s been backed into a corner. “We gotta play with that fight and that spirit, leave everything on the field. It emanates from the coaching staff, so credit to those guys up top.”
For a player who bleeds rave green and lives for Cascadia rivalry matches like this, Evans had to stick in one last dig at the Whitecaps. He said he knew Edgar was trying to bait him in the incident leading to the red card, because Vancouver were desperate for an advantage: “It is what it is, you’re playing a team that’s now out of the playoffs.”