Seattle Sounders FC has wrapped up what general manager Adrian Hanauer calls its “triumvirate of leaders” for the 2014 Major League Soccer season and beyond.
On Wednesday, the Sounders announced the signing of midfielder, defender and sometimes-captain Brad Evans to a multi-year contract extension. Terms were not announced.
The move came a day after club MVP Osvaldo Alonso was signed to a long-term designated player contract, and it follows the August DP signing of U.S. national team captain Clint Dempsey.
Hanauer had signaled Seattle’s commitment to the three players soon after the 2013 season ended in the Western Conference semifinals.
“It’s highly likely that Clint, along with Ozzie, along with Brad Evans, form a triumvirate of leaders on the team going forward,” Hanauer said at the time. “Along with a number of other guys on the team, we feel like we have a very good core going into the offseason.”
Evans, 28, is the lone Sounder remaining from the 2008 expansion draft, when he was selected from then-MLS champion Columbus. He had joined the Crew as a second-round (15th overall) pick in the 2007 SuperDraft out of UC Irvine.
He ranks third in Sounders career games (112), starts (103), goals (17) and assists (19), and fourth in minutes (8,900). In 2013, he tied a career high with five assists and added four goals. He scored the winning goal against Colorado in the MLS playoff knockout round.
Evans also has 16 appearances with the U.S. national team, including a career-high 10 in 2013.
“Re-signing Brad was a major priority for us,” Hanauer said in a club news release. “He has become a leader in the locker room and is a versatile player on the field. Brad exhibits the commitment, values and spirit of playing for the Sounders FC badge.”
Evans has primarily played midfield for the Sounders, but he also can play outside defense, his spot with the national team. Evans has worn the captain’s armband in Seattle, and he has expressed eagerness to continue in a leadership role.
“My goal was to stay in Seattle, and I’m very excited to continue my career here,” Evans said in the release. “It’s always an honor to play for this city and these fans. I can’t wait to get back to work with my teammates to prepare for the 2014 season.”
Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin and forward/midfielder Lamar Neagle are finalists for MLS postseason awards. Yedlin and Colorado teammates Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers are rookie of the year finalists. Neagle, of Federal Way, joins New England’s Kevin Alston and Philadelphia’s Conor Casey as comeback player candidates. The rookie winner will be announced Monday and the comeback player Dec. 2. ... Forbes magazine on Tuesday listed Sounders FC as the most valuable franchise in MLS. Seattle topped the rankings with a value of $175 million, followed by Los Angeles ($170 million) and Portland ($141 million). Chivas USA was last at $64 million.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt