The United States men’s national team nearly dropped a crucial World Cup qualifier on Friday night, but late game heroics from midfielder Brad Evans allowed the USMNT to edge Jamaica after giving up what appeared to be a devastating goal in the final few minutes. Because of the goal, the United States is in great position to earn an automatic berth to the 2014 World Cup in Rio and manager Jurgen Klinsmann avoids being on the hot seat.
Following the game, Klinsmann spoke about Evans, but he was careful not to be too glowing with his comments and made it clear that Evans still has a lot of work to do on the international stage.
Here is what Klinsmann said, via USA soccer:
“I think he’s growing into his role. He understands that it’s there for him to grab. He’s finding his game, finding an understanding with the centerbacks and finding and understanding with the midfielders in front of him, in this case Graham Zusi. This is not happening overnight but we need to give him time to play that role. The moment was there for him tonight and we need to give him a compliment for that.”
Klinsmann hit the nail right on the head.
While Evans potentially saved the United States from being in serious jeopardy of missing the World Cup, he still needs to improve and show that he is able to consistently play at a solid level.
If Evans can continue to grow, he can build on his legend that he started with the clutch goal over the Reggae Boyz. One thig we do know is that Evans is not shy in the big moment. He stayed cool, calm and collected, which helped him keep his country alive.