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Sounders Brad Evans: You play in championships to win them

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TORONTO, ONTARIO - DECEMBER 10: Roman Torres #29 of the Seattle Sounders celebrates his championship winning goal against the Toronto FC in the 2016 MLS Cup at BMO Field on December 10, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Seattle defeated Toronto in the 6th round of extra time penalty kicks. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — Brad Evans sat down with Q13 News’ Michelle Ludtka before the MLS Cup final on Saturday. The Seattle Sounders FC captain spoke emotionally about the need to win the MLS Cup, the coaching change, and how much his guys had to work to get here.

The MLS Cup final kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the official home of the Sounders FC, Q13 FOX

Was there ever a moment where you doubted you guys would get to this point?

Yes. I think both scenarios crossed my mind. I either thought we’d make a run like we did or we were going to be packing our bags early. And that was the reality of the situation.

Being second from bottom wasn’t something that we were familiar with, with this club. I didn’t really know what to expect. Four or five games into the coaching change, ‘I said ok, we’re playing really well, right now.’ Every game we got closer and closer to where we wanted to be.

It also took a lot out of the guys. Where we were, you have to put in 110% — that cliché number. But to get a result, we were always going to have to fight until the end. And ya, ok. Bounces went our way a few times, but it was an accumulation of a lot of hard work and a couple goals here and there changed the course of the season. It’ll be one we talk about for a long time.

It won’t mean as much if we don’t win it. There was a lot of hard work that went into this if we don’t win it, you’ll kind of look back and say ‘what if?’

What does it mean personally for you to have gotten the team to this point?

It feels amazing, obviously. But I also know that if we don’t win nothing changes. Of course, we’re excited to be in the MLS Cup — make an appearance — but when it’s all said and done, you play in championships to win them and if you don’t it’ll be talked about for a long time and if you do happen to win you’ll be a legend.

That’s what we have to focus on. At this point, we go in with a good mindset knowing that in years past we won a few championships but this has been one that’s been dodged the most. Being ready for it. Being ready to seize the day and take advantage of it.

What makes this group different?

It’s been a difficult season at times. But one that, like I said before, even when results weren’t going our way, and we weren’t where we wanted to be in the standings, everybody’s head stayed very even. Throughout the coaching changes, everybody came in every day the same. You think, and you hope that it’s a veteran group of guys and that’s what got us here.

How special is it to be fighting for this final Cup that’s eluded this club, with guys like Ozzie Alonso, Zack Scott, Brian Schmetzer? Guys who’ve been here the whole time with you.

Every story is different. Some clubs it takes one or two years, some clubs it takes four or five decades to get to a championship. So I think that we’re lucky to have it eight years in. We’re still extremely young. To get here is great, to win it is ultimate. So I’d rather have a conversation about us winning it than us saying, ‘ya, we made the MLS Cup.’ And I think that goes for everybody as well.