Sounders Insider

Evans is Sounders’ Humanitarian of Year

Seattle Sounders defender and captain Brad Evans stands during the national anthem before an MLS match against the Los Angeles Galaxy in Seattle.
Seattle Sounders defender and captain Brad Evans stands during the national anthem before an MLS match against the Los Angeles Galaxy in Seattle. Associated Press

Here’s the word from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC announced that it has named Brad Evans the team's 2015 Humanitarian of the Year. This marks the Seattle captain's first such honor for work in the community and puts him in the running for the MLS Humanitarian of the Year, to be announced November 5.

As an ambassador for the club off the pitch, Evans has championed community efforts both personally and through relationships with club partners. For the third-straight year, he participated in the Men in Kilts campaign, helping to raise over $83,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle to provide services for families of seriously ill children being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital.

"It means a lot. Anytime you receive anything from your ownership group and the leaders above you, it means a tremendous amount," said Evans. "Giving back to the community is something a lot of guys do on the team, so it's difficult to pick one guy."

Evans also contributed to September's 30 in 30 initiative, to raise awareness about cancer and research for a cure. He welcomed young leukemia patient Isiah Waiters as an Austen Everett Foundation Honorary Team Captain, worked with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to promote the Base2Space program and took part in the club's Breast Cancer Awareness calendar, benefitting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Seattle. Evans is featured on the cover of the November issue of Seattle Business Magazine alongside Waiters, Lamar Neagle and Peter Kingston as the club was honored with a 2015 Community Impact Award for "Business of the Year in Midsize Companies."

He's also helped in the team's United in Green efforts to positively impact local children throughout the season, and he continues to support programs he is personally passionate about, including the Seattle Humane Society. Through his relationship with Chipotle, he has hosted a fundraiser for the Seattle Humane Society to help benefit the organization's programs throughout the city.

"We're fortunate to have a number of individuals whose efforts are worthy of this honor. Community is part of the DNA of our club and the players truly exemplify this," said Sounders FC Director of Community Outreach Roger Levesque. "Brad's leadership on and off the field - for club, country and in our community - inspired us all to be a little better and earned him the honor of Sounders FC's 2015 Humanitarian of the Year."

Sounders FC also recognized three other nominees for this year's honor.

Cristian Roldan

The Sounders FC rookie made visits to Seattle Children's Hospital this season - both when requested for community and corporate appearances, as well as on his own. He showed personal interest and care in building relationships through those visits, including continued interaction with a teenage cancer patient at Children's, on-field after a match and later on at Ronald McDonald House.

In addition to visits to Seattle Children's and RMHC, the University of Washington product participated in two Sounders in Schools appearances, inspiring over 850 students at Concord Elementary and Kimball Elementary.

Roldan volunteered for 14 community appearances in 2015, and also participated in seven corporate appearances.

Lamar Neagle

The 2013 Sounders FC Humanitarian of the Year inspired an entire city through his participation in Seattle Foundation's 2015 GiveBIG campaign, the one-day, online charitable giving event. With Lamar as the focal point of this year's promotional video, GiveBIG raised $16.3 million for local non-profits. Neagle also starred in on the GiveBIG 2015 PSA video alongside Peter Kingston, his 13-year-old co-star. Kingston is featured on the cover of the November issue of Seattle Business Magazine alongside Neagle, Evans and Waiters as the club was honored with a Community Impact Award.

He organized the fourth annual Sonarfeed FIFA Tournament that has grown to over 80 players and this year raised $10,000 for the Neagle Foundation. Lamar has pledged $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Federal Way, which will be used to purchase new soccer uniforms for over 60 kids.

Neagle is a longtime supporter and current board member of America SCORES Seattle - an after school program that combines soccer and poetry - Lamar's efforts in 2015 were special. The Neagle Foundation was able to make its first grant to support the program.

In 2015, the Federal Way native volunteered for 12 community appearances and also participated in three corporate appearances.

Michael Azira

Azira spearheaded efforts to support the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's opening of a Cancer Center in his home country of Uganda. He organized and recruited fellow players to visit the Hutch School, where kids displaced for cancer treatment have an opportunity for education, then continued to support Fred Hutch and cancer treatment through appearances and fundraising. The second-year Sounder personally donated to the Hutch event which raised over $586,000 to support research/cutting edge therapies.

He inspired youth through participation in Sounders in Schools, speaking of the challenges he faced as a kid and the importance of education to over 400 students at Concord Elementary School.

In 2015, Azira volunteered for eight community appearances and also participated in six corporate appearances.