After nine seasons with the Seattle Sounders, defender/midfielder Brad Evans is set to join Sporting Kansas City.
The move was reported by multiple media outlets Tuesday. Evans, a free agent whose contract with the Sounders expired at the end of last season, tweeted a farewell to Seattle.
He wrote: “Can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to my @SoundersFC family/players that trusted in me & of course the city of Seattle for 9 years of amazing memories. We had a good run. I hope u continue to support your rave green soldiers through thick & thin. I’ll be your future GM #sounders”
Evans added of his move to another club in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference: “Also if you think KC is a rival because we’ve played a few good games against each other, figure it out.”
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said of Evans on KJR Radio, according to sounderatheart.com, “It’s a sad story and a good story. I’m happy for Brad. The players fought for some form of free agency, and Brad used that to his advantage. I’m sad in that sense, I would have had him back. I’m happy for him, sad for myself, and the fans will miss him. Brad had a good relationship with the fans.”
Evans, 32, had been training with SKC in recent weeks as he works to return from a back injury that ended his 2017 season prematurely.
“We’re going to see if he can get back to full strength. If he can, I think he can be really useful for our club,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes told the Kansas City Star last week. “One thing I know about him (is that) he’s an incredible competitor, and he’s a great team guy, which it doesn’t hurt to add those things.”
Evans had just one goal in 11 games (six starts) for Seattle last year. He played the first two seasons of his career (2007-08) with Columbus, helping the Crew win the MLS Cup title in his second year. He was selected by the Sounders in the expansion draft ahead of the 2009 season.
In 230 career Major League Soccer games, including 198 starts, Evans has 25 goals and 29 assists.
Evans also has made 27 appearances for the U.S. men’s national team, scoring one goal, in 2013 during a World Cup qualifying match at Jamaica.
The Sounders responded to the loss of Evans by signing two players Tuesday, midfielder Alex Roldan and defender Jordan McCrary.
Roldan, 21, was a first-round pick (22nd overall) of the Sounders in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft out of Seattle University. He is the younger brother of Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan.
“We were excited to draft Alex last month and, like his brother, we anticipate him being a positive addition to our club,” Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a statement.
McCrary, 24, has been training with Seattle after playing for Toronto FC’s developmental squad last year. He previously played briefly for the New England Revolution.
“Jordan has shown well during his trial with us throughout preseason and we believe gives us some quality depth at the fullback position,” Lagerwey said.
—Field Level Media