Pilots in the Spotlight: Steven Evans

By The Beacon | January 23, 2013 9:00pm

Steven Evans (Kayla Wong | The Beacon)

By Taylor Tobin, Staff Writer tobint16@up.edu

Steven Evans signed with the Portland Timbers on Jan. 8 after three seasons as a Pilot. A Portland, Ore. native, Evans became the second homegrown player to join the Timbers. In 2010, Evans was named WCC Freshman of the Year and was WCC Player of the Week (Sept. 26) in 2011. Evans was named to the All-WCC First Team in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012.

What was the first thing you did after finding out the Timbers wanted to sign you?

I was pretty excited. My family and I went out and had a nice dinner together and we just enjoyed it. My parents are extremely happy for me, and my little brother, who I don't think could be any more excited or supportive for me. It's been great at home.

When did you first think that you could play professionally?

Like all kids growing up, I always wanted to [play professionally], but I think this year I knew that I had the potential. I think that I had a good season and that really helped me out a lot. Once they asked me to sign I was pretty happy. I think that's when it hit me that 'Hey, I'm going to be a professional.'

Are you more nervous or excited to play for the Timbers?

It's a combo of both. I'm extremely nervous right now. We just had our physicals for the team and it kind of seemed surreal. So I'm nervous, but I don't think I could be more excited either. This team has a lot of new players. We're all getting to know each other. There are a couple guys I know from the U-23 [Timbers development team] from a couple years back. Ryan Kawulok also went to UP and he was with the 23's, and there are a few other guys that I know. That will help me out a lot. I don't know that it's totally hit me yet, being in the limelight like that. But I hope maybe I can get some minutes with team, playing with the amount of fans that the Timbers get.

What are you going to miss most about playing for UP?

I think just the atmosphere that the fans bring, the players have toward the game, and our coaching staff takes toward everything. I think I'd have to say that the people are what I'm going to miss the most.

What are some of your favorite memories from playing soccer for UP?

The entire year, we really had a great group of guys. Maybe our win-loss record didn't show how good we were, but I think we had one of the best teams I've been on. I think one of the best moments for us, and me especially, was when we beat Bakersfield early in the season. They were a pretty highly ranked team and we came out and beat them. It showed we could beat anybody, so I think that was a big game for us.

Who are your soccer idols?

The first one I look up to is my dad. He's the one who's gotten me here and he's helped me out so much along the way. As far as an idol, Clint Dempsey [United States National Team and Tottenham Hotspur in London, England player]. I try to play a lot like him.

What played into your decision to leave UP early?

I mean there were a lot of things, but I think the main thing was that I thought I was ready to go, and the coaches at UP felt the same way. Before the season was actually over they approached me and talked to me about leaving and discussed things with me. So I think it was a combo of the coaches knowing I was ready to go and me thinking it was time for me to go. My family is extremely happy [with my decision], I mean, this is what I've been waiting for my entire life, so that also factored into it.