It’s been a few days since the Seattle Sounders’ quest for a record-tying fifth U.S. Open Cup title came to an end. There has been a lot of talk about how certain players should have played while others shouldn’t have played. The one name that keeps popping up that should have played is Brad Evans.
There are a few reasons why he should have played – the major one being he can’t play next Tuesday against the Colorado Rapids due to the red card he picked up against the Portland Timbers. There are also a few reasons why he should not have played – he is still recovering from a calf injury that has hampered him all season.
Evans has played a full 90 minutes in a match for the Sounders once since Aug. 28, 2016 and that came on May 27, 2017. Since August of last year, he has played a total of 395 minutes and that includes last year’s playoffs. He missed the first nine games of the season and has played in only seven of the teams 18 games this season.
Given all that, Brian Schmetzer and the rest of the training staff made the correct decision in not playing him Wednesday night in San Jose. With his suspension, Evans will not see the field again at least until July 19. This gives him almost a full month since his last match and will give him and the training staff the ability to get him as close to 100% ready for the final 16 games of the season.
Brad is an important player to this team. Keep in mind that in the games he has started – four – no team has scored on the Sounders while he has been on the field. Maybe even more importantly, the team is 3-0-1 in those games. With him on the field, the Sounders have a veteran player that knows exactly when to pick his spots on moving up the field or staying behind to help cover the defense.
We also have seen how good and more importantly how bad the other players have been at the right back position. There was no need to risk further injury on Evans to play a mid-week game after playing 44 minutes on a field that was near or over 100 degrees.
Schmetzer made the right decision in the long run as the Sounders are entering the final half of the season. They will need Evans if they seriously want to make the playoffs for the ninth straight year in a row.