FRISCO, Texas – Results later this evening will help show how much trouble Seattle is in as the Sounders work desperately to arrest this late-season spiral … one that is threatening to erase the team’s chances of even appearing in the post-season.
Here’s the thing with Evans … he’s one of the real smart guys of MLS, terrific at assessing this and that, what’s right and wrong.
And he says he can’t figure this thing out.
He knows the Sounders personnel losses are hurting. Some of that is down to injury, some down to worse, like Osvaldo Alonso, who was suspended for Saturday’s loss in Dallas after elbowing Portland’s Will Johnson off the ball last week. And considering the team’s struggles in possession and putting together enough offensive push at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, the team badly missed its top midfielder.
Here’s what Evans had to say as he struggled to deal with it all:
“Next week is the championship game for us. Next week is MLS Cup for us.”
I asked Evans if the locker room is ready for a contest like that, considering a level of confidence that must be at low ebb.
“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a good question. The fight and the desire is there. It’s just execution, front to back. Like me, I had two good chances … and if I can slip those in … It’s just little things like that. It’s inches and inches.”
I also asked about Clint Dempsey, who is surely desperate to demonstrate his value (and what a handsome value that is) to his new club and to the rest of Major League Soccer. The U.S. international is still looking for his first Sounders goal or assist.
On the one hand, Dempsey would love to be the guy to rally everyone, to stand up and shake up the locker room with words and then do it on the field with performance. On the other hand, it’s hard when you’re hurt, as he’s been. And it’s even harder when you’re new, perhaps not feeling empowered – not just because you’re new, but because you’ve also been hurt.
“He wants that role,” Evans said. “But it is difficult to come in and be a contributor right away, no matter who you are.”
Evans also had this to say:
“If we have everybody healthy and on the field, I think we’re unstoppable. But it’s about getting everyone on the field at the same time. And maybe next week [against Los Angeles in Seattle] is the perfect storm next week maybe it happens next Sunday, we get everyone healthy and we get the results we need and get into the playoffs, and then we take off.”