Hours after suffering a 5-1 shellacking in Colorado, the Sounders learned that midfielder Brad Evans and forward Eddie Johnson were called into the U.S. Men’s National Team for FIFA World Cup qualifiers matches against Jamaica and Panama. However, the U.S. team captain, Clint Dempsey, nursing a hamstring injury, was not called.
Both join the USMNT immediately, and will miss Seattle’s matches against the Vancouver Whitecaps Wednesday and the Portland Timbers Sunday. USMNT hosts Jamaica Friday at Sporting Park in Kansas City. The team then visits Panama Oct. 15 in Panama City.
The callups come as the Sounders are coming off a draw against New York and their worst game of the season in Colorado.
Evans, 27, has 13 caps and one goal for USMNT and has earned seven caps and six starts in 2013. He scored the latest game-winner in USMNT qualifying history at Jamaica June 7.
Johnson, 29, has 59 caps and 19 goals for the U.S., including the game-winner against Mexico Sept. 10 to send the USMNT to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He scored five goals with one assist this year. His 12 goals in World Cup qualifying ranks third all-time for the United States.
USMNT is in first place in the final round of qualifying, collecting 16 points from eight matches. The top three teams in the hexagonal automatically advance to the World Cup, while the fourth-place finisher will contest a two-game playoff against Oceania region winner New Zealand.
Saturday night, Johnson scored Seattle’s only goal on a header.