Johnson, Evans get call-ups from U.S. team
Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans were among 25 players called up Sunday by the U.S. men's national team for January training camp.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Seattle is sending two players to the U.S. men's national team this week.
And, according to a report in The Washington Post, the U.S. team might be coming to Seattle this summer to play a FIFA World Cup qualifier at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans were among 25 players called up Sunday by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for January training camp. Practice starts Monday in Carson, Calif., and leads into a Jan. 27 friendly against Canada in Houston and a Feb. 6 World Cup qualifier at Honduras.
Johnson, 28, leads the MLS-heavy roster in international games played (44) and goals (14) coming off a triumphant national-team return at the end of last year. Evans, 27, boasts six U.S. appearances and has been called into three of the past four January camps.
The pair will join Sounders FC's preseason training camp in February.
Former Seattle defender Jeff Parke, who was traded to Philadelphia in the offseason, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, a Gig Harbor native, also were called up by Klinsmann.
Elsewhere, CenturyLink Field might be in line to host a World Cup qualifier, either June 11 against Panama or June 18 against Honduras, which features Sounders midfielder Mario Martinez. The Post reported that U.S. Soccer is aiming to bring the back-to-back games to Seattle and Portland, two soccer-enthusiastic cities often ignored at the national-team level due to their artificial-turf stadiums.
There are a few scheduling concerns at CenturyLink Field, however, as country singer Kenny Chesney will perform a concert at the stadium on June 1 and the University of Washington will host its commencement ceremony there June 15.
Such activity might make it harder for a temporary grass surface, which is often preferred to artificial turf, to take root and hold up to a high standard.
U.S. Soccer hasn't hosted a World Cup qualifier on temporary grass since 1997, but Fox Soccer contributor Grant Wahl reported a couple of weeks ago that the federation is open to playing on the surface this year.
Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson indicated on Twitter, however, that his team will not lay temporary grass at Jeld-Wen Field. Portland, he said, is more likely to host a lower-tier CONCACAF Gold Cup game this summer instead of a World Cup qualifier.
The Sounders, on the other hand, admitted to being in active talks with U.S. Soccer last month, potentially involving a World Cup qualifier.
Seattle hasn't hosted a stand-alone U.S. men's national team game since 2003.
"That is something that we're working on," Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer said in December, "and with a little bit of luck and some hard work, we might have something that we can hopefully hang our hats on in the near future here."
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @joshuamayers.