Sounders FC

Long-time Sounder signs with Sporting KC; Sounders sign two others

McClatchy news services

Seattle captain Brad Evans, right, joined the team in 2009, its first season in the MLS. He’s reportedly signing a free-agent deal with Sporting Kansas City.
Seattle captain Brad Evans, right, joined the team in 2009, its first season in the MLS. He’s reportedly signing a free-agent deal with Sporting Kansas City. alynn@thenewstribune.com

The Seattle Sounders welcomed two new players on Tuesday and said goodbye to one of its original MLS players.

Sporting KC has agreed to contract terms with long-time Sounders player Brad Evans, a league source told The Kansas City Star. The deal must still be approved by the league office.

Sounders signed first-round draft pick Alex Roldan and former New England draft pick Jordan McCrary for the 2018 season. The signings come two days before Seattle’s final preseason exhibition against Sacramento Republic. The Sounders open the season Feb. 22 in the CONCACAF Champions League against Santa Tecla in El Salvador.

Evans, 32, was drafted by Columbus in 2007, but he spent the previous nine seasons with Seattle.

A back injury ended his 2017 season last August. He joined Sporting KC’s training camp during its stop in Kansas City last week and then traveled with the team for the second leg of preseason camp in Tucson, Ariz.

“We’re going to see if he can get back to full strength. If he can, I think he can be really useful for our club,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said last week.

“One thing I know about him (is that) he’s an incredible competitor, and he’s a great team guy, which it doesn’t hurt to add those things.”

Evans was a free agent, falling under the parameters of players who are 28 or older and have at least eight years of MLS service. Fewer than half of the league’s 38 players eligible for free agency have found a home for 2018.

But add Evans to that list. He started at least 21 matches in five consecutive seasons before last season’s injury, limiting him to just six starts and 480 minutes.

Evans has 230 appearances in the league, including 198 starts, and 25 goals and 29 assists. He has also made 27 appearances with the United States men’s national team. He previously represented the U.S. Under-20 team at the FIFA World Youth Championship, when Vermes was an assistant coach.

Roldan is a midfielder from Seattle University who was selected No. 22 in the MLS SuperDraft. He is the younger brother of Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan. Alex Roldan started all 82 games in college and had six goals and eight assists in his senior season.

McCrary was with Seattle on trial during the preseason. McCrary was the No. 10 overall pick of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by New England. He spent last year with Toronto FC II in the United Soccer League.

NEW RADIO HOME

The Sounders have agreed to a multi-year deal with iHeartMedia Seattle, making 950 KJR AM the English-language home of the team.

All home and away Sounders MLS matches will be carried on 950 KJR AM, including a 30-minute pregame and 30-minute postgame show. Matt Johnson remains as the play-by-play voice.

Additionally, the station is set to carry an hour-long Sounders FC weekly show, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. PT on Tuesdays throughout the season.

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