Veteran midfielder Brad Evans represented the Sounders in a national MLS conference call today in advance of the Western Conference final Sunday against LA.
Among the questions asked of Evans was about the contributions of MLS award finalists Michael Gspurning (goalkeeper and newcomer of the year) and Eddie Johnson (comeback player).
“Everybody knows what we lost last year in Kasey, so I think it was a difficult task in signing a replacement. But I thought that our club obviously found that replacement very admirably in Gspurning,” Evans said. “Anytime he played for us, I think he has like a 0.7 goals-against average for us, which is anytime your goalie is making saves and your taking less than one goal a game, you’re going to give yourself a good chance in advancing into the playoffs and find yourself where you want to be in the postseason. Michael’s done tremendous and awesome in the locker room, he’s been great with the team. So, awesome job there for him. More than happy for him. He’s put in a lot of hard work since he got here and I know it’s difficult coming from another country in his situation in Greece. That was a little bit hairy for a while, so all credit goes to him.
“And obviously Eddie Johnson was … a player that had success before and tried to test the waters overseas, and things just didn’t work out. So he came in and from minute one in the preseason he put in the work, and I thought that was the most important thing. And obviously with (technical director) Chris Henderson playing with him a little bit, and knowing his personality, and seeing him with the national team and Sigi and stuff like that, he came in and worked. And the guys kind of fed off that because you just never know. You hear stories about players playing overseas and you figure, ‘Oh he didn’t play, so he must not be as good as before.’ But there are a lot of factors that go into that, and he’ll be the first one to tell you. Obviously more than happy for Eddie. He’s just so explosive, and a pure game-changer, and he’s done tremendous for us this year.”