6513_evansbrad_isi_usmnt060213113 Brad Smith/isiphotos.com
Rising and Falling

Hot or Not: We Knew that Brad Evans Was the Future

Who knew that the Seattle Sounders man was going to be the answer at right back for the United States national team? Oh wait, he told us that back in January. But what about a struggling Tim Howard?
BY Jon Arnold Posted
June 05, 2013
11:00 AM
Who’s Hot?
Brad Evans—Evans vaulted from a late roster addition to a probable starter in a week with the right back experiment working against Germany. Nobody’s going to confuse the Seattle Sounders jack-of-all-positions for Dani Alves, but he got the job done Sunday. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. “One of the first things Jurgen [Klinsmann] said is it’s one of the reasons you’re in here because you’re very versatile,” Evans told ASN after the January camp. “When I played with Bob Bradley, it was at right back. If anything, it says a lot about our national team that each position is three, four deep. You’ve got to find yourself a way to fit in. If that means at right back? It’s right back.” Now that’s foreshadowing.

Jozy Altidore—You may have heard—you did if you listened to Taylor Twellman on the ESPN broadcast—but it bears repeating: Altidore scoring a beautiful goal for the U.S. from the run of play has the potential to be a huge burden off the striker’s back. An unencumbered Jozy in candy-cane stripes? Now that’d be something to see.
Who’s Not?
Sacha Kljestan—The Anderlecht man got his chance against his club’s home country. He didn’t completely bomb, but he also didn’t do anything to inspire confidence. With Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones clicking, there’s little chance he’ll see a Hex start. Even worse for the California native, the substitute run-outs he’d been getting might dry up as well with Fabian Johnson moving into the wings, Brad Davis looking good spelling him, and Graham Zusi continuing his strong play on the right side. The best chance for Kljestan is if the Americans are up big and need to slow things down.

Tim Howard—This wasn’t the time for Howard to show signs of weakness, with Brad Guzan coming off a tremendous Premier League season and an equally impressive showing last time out with the national team. The foibles against Germany were uncharacteristic for Howard, but the same type of bobbles won’t be acceptable should they cost crucial Hex points. You have to appreciate Howard’s long-time service, but there’s a snappy understudy waiting in the wings should he continue to struggle.

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.

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