Rave Report: Evans improving after calf injury

Sounders FC captain Brad Evans has been training with the team ever since suffering a calf injury against Toronto FC on March 15. However, discomfort in his calf kept him from playing in Seattle’s 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact on Sunday.

On Wednesday, he continued the club’s normal training regime at Starfire and was as optimistic as ever that he would be available on Saturday when Sounders FC hosts the Columbus Crew at CenturyLink Field.

“Today was the best it’s felt,” said Evans, noting that he traveled to Montreal, but couldn’t shake the knock. “It’s better to be safe and let the guys who were 100-percent contribute and obviously that paid dividends with a big win on the road.”

It will be a busy week for Evans starting on Saturday. First, he will face the only other MLS club he’s ever played for in the Crew, then he travels to Phoenix where the U.S. National Team will face Mexico in a friendly at University of Phoenix Stadium. After the Wednesday friendly, he will return to the Northwest as Seattle takes on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park in Portland.

SOUNDERS TEAM WITH RED CROSS FOR OSO MUDSLIDE RELIEF

On Saturday at CenturyLink Field, Sounders FC will partner with American Red Cross to collect donations to aid in the disaster relief efforts to help people affected by disasters like the Oso Mudslide. Volunteers from the American Red Cross will be stationed at various gates, along Occidental Avenue and throughout the stadium to collect donations, while the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Hanauer Family Foundation will match donations collected on Saturday up to $15,000.

Fans can also donate by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation or by visiting www.redcross.org.

PICKENS ON THE MOVE

In 2010, Matt Pickens won MLS Cup with the Colorado Rapids. Now, after losing most of the 2013 season to a fractured arm and then losing his starting spot to Clint Irwin, Pickens found himself expendable to the Rapids this offseason. Last week, he was waived, then quickly picked up by the New England Revolution. Now, just five days later, Pickens has been transferred to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League for an undisclosed fee.

In 116 matches with the Rapids from 2009-2013, Pickens had a 41-43-31 record with 29 shutouts and a 1.27 goals against average. Tampa Bay opens the 2014 NASL regular season on April 12.

TWO SUSPENDED BY MLS DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

Toronto FC midfielder Jackson and Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts were each levied suspensions by the MLS Disciplinary Committee after incidences were reviewed from the weekend’s matches. Jackson will miss Toronto’s match with Real Salt Lake this weekend, while Ricketts will miss a total of two matches for his red-card tackle of Deshorn Brown in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids. That will make Ricketts unavailable when the Timbers host Sounders FC on April 5 at Providence Park, likely meaning that former Sounder Andrew Weber will get the start for the Timbers.

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