Brad Evans formally announced his retirement on Monday, calling an end to a career that spanned 12 MLS seasons, featuring eight major trophies and 27 United States national team caps. The bulk of Evans’ career was spent with the Sounders, where he helped lead the team to the playoffs in each of his nine seasons and helped them win four U.S. Open Cups, a Supporters’ Shield and a MLS Cup. Evans finishes with 28 goals and 31 assists in 255 MLS appearances.
“The last 12 years have been an absolute privilege, and there are so many teammates, players, coaches and fans who I am excited to thank,” Evans said in a press release. “I’m extremely proud to have represented Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City and the United States and appreciate every opportunity I have been given. Although my playing career has ended, I look forward to keeping the special relationships I’ve made throughout my time in Major League Soccer.”
Unfortunately, the last two seasons were dominated by injuries and Evans was unable to make a first team appearance during his final season with Sporting KC, who he joined as a free agent last offseason. Evans was coming off a year in which he only played 11 games, his final year with the Sounders. His last appearance ended up being a rather mundane 26-minute substitute performance in a 4-0 win at Minnesota United on Aug. 5, 2017.
Until then, however, Evans had secured an impressive place in Sounders franchise history. He ranks second — behind only Osvaldo Alonso — in appearances, starts and minutes. Despite playing as a defender for a large portion of his time here, he is also one of only four players in franchise history with at least 20 goals and 20 assists. He even managed to tie the MLS record for assists in a half when he tallied three against Chivas USA in 2014. He was also, notably, 11-for-11 on penalties — including shootouts — across all competitions, the biggest of which came in the 2016 MLS Cup.
Evans’ most notable run of form may have been during 2014 World Cup qualifying, when he made five starts in the final round of qualifying and scored a stoppage time winner at Jamaica which was instrumental in the USMNT punching their ticket. He was one of the final cuts for Brazil, however.
More than his on-the-field play, Evans made a name for himself as a player who was always willing to speak his mind and someone with whom fans could identify. Evans was an outspoken supporter of LBGTQ rights and a prolific fundraiser for causes like the Seattle Humane Society and cancer research.
REMARKS ON EVANS’ MLS CAREER
Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer
”Brad Evans is one of the great Sounders from any era of our club’s history. From being selected in the Expansion Draft, to starting our first-ever match in MLS and helping our club to multiple titles over nine seasons, Brad has left an indelible mark on the Seattle soccer community. We would like to join with the rest of the soccer world today in wishing him congratulations on an exemplary career, one that made a major difference to our club and all Sounders fans.”
Sounders FC Sporting Director & Vice President of Soccer Chris Henderson
”I’d like to congratulate Brad on a terrific career and thank him for everything he did for the Sounders organization. He was a great pro and spokesman for the club, and his personality gave him a unique ability to connect with our fans. On top of that, he always delivered on the pitch and was an extremely unselfish player, as shown in how many positions he played at a high level for us throughout the years. I’m excited to see what Brad has planned for the next chapter of his life.”
Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer
”There are players that come around every once in a while that develop a really special connection with supporters, and Brad was that guy for us during his time in Seattle. Whether it was his unselfish playing style, his workmanlike attitude every day in training or his tireless work in the community, Brad was always a first-class representative of the Seattle Sounders. I’d like to join our organization in congratulating him on a successful career.”
Sounders FC Defender Chad Marshall
”It’s been an absolute honor to call Brad Evans a teammate and friend over the last 12 years. He is a consummate professional and captain in every sense of the word. Every locker room and lineup was better with Brad in it. Congratulations on a fantastic career and best of luck in your next chapter.”
Sounders FC Goalkeeper Stefan Frei
”Brad always had such a veteran presence in the locker room. His blunt, sarcastic sense of humor kept people on their toes, like a rookie who just signed his professional contract - good times. But people listened when he had something to say and everyone valued his opinion. I wish you all the best in your next adventure, B-Rad.”
Sounders FC Broadcast Analyst & Former Goalkeeper Kasey Keller
”Brad and I played together early in his career in Seattle, where he was always a good pro and reliable teammate. He’s a versatile, unselfish player who always knew where to be, and he was a big part of our early success in MLS and three U.S. Open Cup titles, in addition to being an important piece for the national team in 2014 World Cup qualification. It’s a shame that he suffered some injuries that didn’t allow his playing days to continue, but that takes nothing away from the excellent career that he had.”