Central defender Brad Evans was back training with the Seattle Sounders on Monday after completing CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with the United States national team.
While away, Evans missed four consecutive Major League Soccer matches while the Sounders went 1-3, including an ongoing run of three consecutive 1-0 losses.
“The most important thing is all of us are hungry to get back into it, get on a winning streak,” he said. “I don’t think any of us have had a month like this in years past. Attitude is great in practice. Everybody’s working. Nobody is throwing in the towel by any means. I think coming into the locker room today, put some smiles on the faces and get back to work.”
While Evans returned to Starfire Sports Complex, USA and Sounders teammate Clint Dempsey headed to Commerce City, Colorado, where he and the MLS All-Stars will meet Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Dempsey and central defender Chad Marshall are scheduled to return from Colorado on Thursday and join the Sounders in training Friday. Coach Sigi Schmid didn’t say whether he expects Dempsey and Marshall to be available Saturday when the Sounders meet the Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field.
Forward Obafemi Martins also is officially an All-Star, but he won’t attend while continuing to recover from a leg injury. Schmid was non-committal on whether Martins or goalkeeper Stefan Frei (shoulder) will be available by Saturday.
“Stefan did more training (Monday), got through training; went with us on the weekend to Montreal so we could keep him in training,” Schmid said. “Oba feels a lot better. He was able to do a lot more with his right foot, so we’ll see how he progresses into (Tuesday).”
Evans will get the full week of work and is expected to be ready to return to the starting spot he last manned June 28 at Portland. The Sounders went into that game with a 9-6-2 record. They’ll take the field this weekend at 10-10-2.
His time with the U.S. national team ended on a similar downturn as the USA advanced out of group play, but lost to Jamaica in the semifinal and then to Panama in the third-place game.
“Team-wise disappointed,” Evans said. “I think that was the mood — but understanding we can’t win everything all the time. ... I think everybody is hungry now. A little bit of a setback. But guys go back to their club teams now, a little bit of a regroup, and focus on September and October.”
Evans played in four of the six USA matches with two starts.
“Personally, it went well,” he said. “I was pretty happy with the way everything went personally. Obviously you want to play as much as you can. Circumstances are coaches decisions, it is what it is; so when you get on the field you do the best you can and you hopefully leave a good impression.”
The Premier Development League announced Monday that its 2015 championship will be resolved this weekend at Starfire Stadium. The Ocala Stampede will meet New York Red Bulls U23 at 6 p.m. Friday, before Sounders U-23 meets K-W United FC at 8 p.m. The championship game between the semifinal winners will be played at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The PDL also announced its all-conference teams. Among the Western Conference honorees are defender Jonathan Campbell and forward Guillermo Delgado of Sounders U-23, and goalkeeper Matt Grosey, defender Cory Keitz, and midfielder Nick Hamer of the Kitsap Pumas.