Thanks to the Sounders staff for helping us out this week with Don being out, and providing these interviews after Thursday’s practice.
Coach Sigi Schmid says the three returning players from national team duty – Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson for the U.S. and Mario Martinez for Honduras – were able to have some rest and get some work in and are available for Saturday’s match at Real Salt Lake. The question isn’t if they can play but how Schmid wants to deploy them.
Schmid said he’s been in contact with the national team coaches about the players being involved in the Gold Cup in July but deferred to the national team coaches about what that plan was.
“We’ve had our discussions so I have a good idea of what the plan is for them right now,” Schmid said. “So if things stay according to plan, but sometimes things change. You never know so I can’t really say.”
He said Evans – normally a midfielder for the Sounders but used at right back for the USMNT – and Johnson have only added to their value with the Sounders by playing different positions.
Here’s what Schmid had to say about that:
“I think versatility is a good thing for players. At the end of the day you have to be able to read the game and play in a manner that allows you to be successful within the game.
“By playing different positions that helps you appreciate that fact, and it shows that you can help out the team in different ways. Like in Eddie’s case when you have Eddie, Oba, and Neagle, you have Neagle who can play wide, Oba’s been out wide before in his life as well, and Eddie has shown that he can play there. So now you have guys who can be a little more unpredictable in their movement off of each other.”