Today, members of The Blue Testament were invited out to check out the new National Training and Coaching Development Center (it’s amazing — but that’s a story for another time).
The visit was intended to check out the new facilities and it would be the first chance to see Sporting Kansas City since they returned from Scottsdale, Arizona where they wrapped up a perfect first leg of preseason (3-0 if you are living under a rock).
What we didn’t expect to find out was that a new player could be on the way in. At least not this player, we were thinking some Felipe Gutierrez news could be on the way. Instead Peter Vermes confirmed that former Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew player Brad Evans is training with Sporting KC.
Now there is no confirmation if this is the trialist that picked up 90 minutes over three games (we aren’t sure it is). It could be as the team was keeping the public and media out of those preseason games and it could be to hide a recognizable face like Brad Evans.
Evans has spent the last nine seasons playing for Western Conference rivals the Seattle Sounders FC. He had two additional years at Columbus where they selected him with the 15th overall pick (back in 2007 that was a 2nd round pick). After winning MLS Cup with the Crew he was selected by the Sounders with the 10th pick in that years expansion draft.
For Seattle Evans would do a little bit of everything. Most recently he’s played most of the back line positions but has primarily played right back (where he represented the United States national team) and center back. He actually started out as a midfielder.
Regardless of where he plays and despite being 32-years-old, Evans could be a nice veteran depth signing that would give Sporting KC security at multiple positions. Vermes loves the ability to do lots of things and Evans can do just that.
With the trade of Saad Abdul-Salaam to New York City FC, the depth at right back is suddenly very young with 17-year-old Homegrown Jaylin Lindsey (who most believe will be with the Swope Park Rangers for 2018) and 2nd year SuperDraft pick Colton Storm. Evans would allow them both to be down in USL getting minutes. Then we can test if Storm can really play LB as Vermes has claimed when he was drafted.
Sporting has some history in signing free agents. The first ever free agent signing in MLS history was when Sporting KC infamously signed Justin Mapp on December 14, 2015. He would go on to play 43 league minutes for SKC. So Evans couldn’t possible be that bad.
Also, Evans wouldn’t be expected to play a lot of minutes as he would be looked at as veteran depth, where Mapp was expected to step in and get real starter minutes. Evans took a major dip in minutes in 2017 when he only had 480 across 11 appearances. That was by far his least since he had 12 appearances and 965 minutes in 2010. The next lowest was 20 appearances for 1509 minutes in 2011.