Seattle (8-3-1) at Vancouver (4-2-4)

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  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Sat May 24, 2014
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The Seattle Sounders survived their first test with three starters away at U.S. national team training camp.

They might not be quite as short-handed Saturday night as they visit the Vancouver Whitecaps in a Cascadia Cup matchup with the possibility of having Brad Evans back.

Evans will at some point rejoin the Sounders after being left off the final 23-man roster while teammates Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin remain with the U.S. national team.

“We’re disappointed for Brad, but we’re excited to have him back,” Seattle sporting director Chris Henderson told the club’s official website. “He’s one of the 30 best players in the whole country, so we’re glad to have him on our team.”

The Sounders (8-3-1) have won six of seven, including a 1-0 home victory over San Jose last Saturday. Obafemi Martins, recently left off Nigeria’s World Cup roster, scored in the eighth minute and the Sounders held on.

Their opening Cascadia Cup match, a 4-4 draw in Portland on April 5, was far less contained. Coach Sigi Schmid prefers to see a little more order, but he views Vancouver as a squad capable of moving forward in a hurry.

“We want to make sure that we do another good job defending. But we’re still very confident in our offense and our ability to create chances,” Schmid said. “I think it’s going to be a game that’s going to be a bit open. They’re a team that likes to counter attack and get forward, so it might open up at certain times during the game.”

The Sounders are 0-4-1 in Cascadia Cup play dating to a 4-1 home loss to Vancouver on Oct. 9 as then-rookie Kekuta Manneh became the youngest player in MLS to record a hat trick.

“It’s given me a lot of confidence coming in to this year,” the 19-year-old Manneh told the club’s official website.

Seattle finished a 1-2-0 season against the Whitecaps while conceding eight goals in the series. The Sounders have been shut out in their last two trips to Vancouver, which will be all the more difficult to avoid repeating without Dempsey, their top scorer with eight goals in nine matches.

That could allow Vancouver’s back line to focus on Martins, who has four goals in his last six matches.

“He’s in a run of form at the moment where he’s been a handful for a lot of teams,” Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said.

The Whitecaps (4-2-4) have a four-match overall unbeaten streak after a 1-0 victory May 10 at Columbus as Erik Hurtado scored in the 37th minute.

Vancouver, the current holder of the Cascadia Cup, is 2-0-2 against Seattle and Portland since July 6 and could extend that run in back-to-back matches with a road game versus the Timbers coming June 1.

“Arguably, they’re the best team at the moment in (the Western Conference), so it’s a good test for us,” Robinson said of Seattle. “But we’re at home, we know our supporters will be right behind us, and I’ll make sure the guys are right up for it. It’s a great test for us after 10 games to see where we are.”

The Whitecaps will do so without Steven Beitashour, who has been granted his release to join the Iran national team camp. They could also be missing Darren Mattocks as the striker recovers from a hamstring strain suffered in a 3-2 victory over San Jose on May 3.

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