The Cleveland City Stars lost a great deal of talent when they folded in the fall of 2009. Most fans remember the skillful play of Teteh Bangura, but many will also remember the great potential of local keeper Evan Bush.
Bush served as a talented understudy to Hunter Gilstrap, but was called into action on several occassions. He would appear in 7 matches, posting 2 shutouts and a 1.285 GAA. He even was named to the USL First Division Team of the Week for Week 17 after a four-save performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps. This quick success put him on the radar of several MLS and USL-1 clubs.
The University of Akron graduate would eventually sign with Crystal Palace Baltimore. a former USL-2 club now playing in the USSF D-II Pro League. Many project that Bush will be the starting keeper when the club opens the season on the 16h of April, even though Chase Harrison and Bush have been sharing time in goal throughout the preseason. His intangibles, experience, and intelligence make him a complete player with loads of potential.
Bush is quick to give credit to those who helped him make it this far. He believes his time at Akron helped him immensely. “They have a great professional atmosphere,” Bush stated. “You don’t really understand it while you’re there.” Playing for a national power in collegiate soccer clearly helps you set expectations as a professional player. Understanding the rigors of the beautiful game is also key. “They prepare you both mentally and physically,” Bush concluded.
The time with the City Stars was also valuable to Bush. “I saw some situations for the first time,” Bush added. “It was a baptism by fire.” Cleveland often suffered from defensive breakdowns, which would test any keeper.
Evan Bush would face off against fellow Cleveland native Barry Rice in a preseason scrimmage against D.C. United. Bush allowed just one goal in his 45 minutes, but Baltimore lost 5-2. This was just another solid performance from the young keeper. Crystal Palace Baltimore are quite fortunate to have acquired such a talented player, one with obvious MLS talent. According to Bush, Baltimore has the talent to compete with top teams. It is just a matter of the squad taking time to gel as chemistry is always important on the pitch.