SEATTLE — The MLS season is still weeks away, but a FIFA World Cup qualifier Wednesday between the U.S. men’s national team and Honduras could see up to three Sounders in big-game action.
Forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans were called up to the U.S. team by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the federation announced Monday. They’ll face their Seattle teammate, Mario Martinez, who will be on the Honduran squad for the 1 p.m. game in his hometown of San Pedro Sula.
Wednesday marks the first of six games in the final round of qualifying for countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The top three of six remaining teams — the U.S., Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica — will advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The selections of Johnson (tied for second in U.S. history with 10 goals in qualifying) and Martinez were no surprise, based on their national-team participation in recent months.
Evans, on the other hand, has never played in a World Cup qualifier, but he appeared to benefit from his versatility. The 27-year-old played as a right back for the U.S. in the second half of last week’s exhibition against Canada and is listed as a defender on the national team’s 24-man roster (only 23 will dress for the game).
Klinsmann explained on a conference call Monday that Evans “had a very, very impressive three-and-a-half weeks” in the national team’s January training camp.
Another Sounder who will be serving on international duty Wednesday is Adam Johansson. The defender was called in by Sweden for a home exhibition against Argentina.
Johnson, Martinez, Evans and Johansson will join Sounders’ preseason camp after their games.
Reign FC signs four
Reign FC announced the signing of four free agents Monday as NWSL teams continue to construct their rosters. Midfielder Jess Fishlock (captain of Welsh national team), defender Kate Deines (Issaquah native and former UW star) and forwards Tiffany Cameron (Canadian international) and Lindsay Taylor (former All-American at Stanford).
Seattle has 15 players on its roster following last month’s allocation of seven national-team players and draft of four college seniors, though forward Amy Rodriguez is pregnant and will miss the 2013 season, while Megan Rapinoe and Teresa Noyola will start the year playing on loan in Europe.
A six-round supplemental draft will be held Thursday, and Reign FC owns the No. 2 overall pick. NWSL teams can have 18 to 20 players on their rosters.