"At this point of the season, the starters that have nicks and aches, I’m going to hold them out so that they’re ready for game day," interim coach Brian Schmetzer said.

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Several Sounders were limited in training on Friday morning at Starfire Sports, the final tune-up before Saturday’s vital home match against fellow playoff contender Vancouver.

Captain Brad Evans was again absent from the team portion of practice after missing last weekend’s draw in San Jose with lower back pain. Both defender Joevin Jones, who is dealing with a foot injury, and forward Jordan Morris arrived only for the latter portion of training. Clint Dempsey participated in a few drills, but only in a fluorescent non-contract jersey.

But though interim Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer conceded that Evans playing against the Whitecaps is probably a “slim possibility” — and provided a telling no comment on whether Dempsey had yet been cleared to play — he said that limiting Jones and Morris’ involvement was merely a preventative measure.

“They just got dinged up a little bit,” Schmetzer said. “If a guy doesn’t train, it’s not ideal. At this point of the season, the starters that have nicks and aches, I’m going to hold them out so that they’re ready for game day. That’s just my philosophy.”