Brad Evans of the Seattle Sounders has started nine of the last 10 U.S. Men’s National Team matches at right back in which he has been available, including five World Cup qualifying matches. In one of the qualifiers he scored in the second minute of stoppage time on a quick turnaround shot to beat Jamaica. On Saturday against a poor South Korea side, he struggled with consistency and seemed overwhelmed with the pace. His back line teammates, usually Matt Besler, had to clean up his messes time and again. It may be one performance, but it was enough for Evans to play himself right out of a chance to go to Brazil.
Many would say that the consistent play of Geoff Cameron at Stoke City moved him ahead of Evans on Jurgen Klinsmann‘s depth chart. The midfield is a deep position for the USMNT, so Cameron can lock in the right back spot. Cameron continues to start at right back and played 90 minutes over the weekend in a 2-1 victory over Manchester United. Cameron has a knack for getting forward and also has the ability to hit a long diagonal pass down the field into the attacking area. It is easy to see his soccer intelligence.
The pace of Evans became a major question mark in the victory over South Korea and as their B-team players beat Evans to the goal line, one question came to mind. How can he handle Cristiano Ronaldo? Ronaldo is hard to handle no matter what, but the thought of Evans trying to do it is enough to make any USMNT fan squeamish.
So who would provide security for Cameron at right back in Brazil? It does not look like Steve Cherundolo will be available as he continues to nurse injuries. Michael Parkhurst was solid on Saturday, but adds very little to the attack. However, his ability to play all across the back four makes him valuable. The wild card in this is Timothy Chandler. Chandler feels out of favor with the current coaching staff based on a lack of professionalism. However, he has made Kicker Online’s Bundesliga Team of the Week twice this year and continues to show well at Nurnberg.
Klinsmann will find a way to give more footing to the right back position and fans should hope that Cameron stays healthy. One thing is clear though. Just because you score a game winning goal in World Cup qualifying, it does not mean you will be there to play against the world’s best. The Sounders will be happy to have Evans for the year.