Jeff Parke, Brad Evans rejoin Sounders FC in camp
The veteran duo had spent the past three weeks with the U.S. national team.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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RENTON — Two days before taking preseason training to Arizona, Sounders FC welcomed veterans Jeff Parke and Brad Evans back on Saturday.
The duo had been serving with the U.S. national team since Jan. 4 and admittedly needed a little time to adjust.
After three weeks in Arizona, California and Panama, Evans couldn't believe the cold in Seattle. Parke had to get used to all the new faces in camp following nine offseason departures and the addition of several new signings and draft picks.
"It's good to have them back," said coach Sigi Schmid.
With the national team, Evans played in friendlies against Venezuela on Jan. 21 and Panama on Wednesday — a pair of 1-0 wins. The 26-year-old has six international appearances.
The experience was new for Parke, who, despite many standout seasons in MLS, had never been called to the national team before this year. The call finally came on Jan. 3, when U.S. Soccer was seeking camp replacements for Omar Gonzalez and Shoreline's George John due to club-related moves.
The call-up came with less than 24 hours' notice.
"I wish I had went in knowing the whole time that I was going to be in there," said Parke, 29, "because then I could've been ready and prepared. But I guess that's just the story of my life — everything that comes my way (is kind of when) I'm not fully prepared. It was definitely a ride that was worth taking."
The risk paid off. In the second half of Wednesday's win in Panama, Parke made his first international appearance and helped the U.S. team, short-handed after a red card, preserve a 1-0 lead.
"I'll remember it the rest of my life," Parke said.
• The Sounders will take Sunday off before flying to Arizona on Monday, where they will train until Feb. 7. Several players are expected to join training camp this week: Swedish defender Adam Johansson, draft pick Wes Feighner and a pair of invitees from Honduras, believed to be 19-year-old defenders Harlinton Gutierres and Ever Alvarado.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org