Seattle Sounders' Brad Evans to miss 5-7 weeks with calf muscle strain

Seattle Sounders defender Brad Evans will miss the start of the Major League Soccer season after the club announced he will be rested for five to seven weeks because of a calf muscle strain.

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer told The Seattle Times that he will rest Evans now with the goal of having him return to full fitness this summer.

"We're going to shut him down to make sure he's 100 percent and see if we can't get him for the rest of the season," Schmetzer said.

Evans, 31, began suffering leg problems shortly after rejoining Seattle after the U.S. national team training camp in January.

Schmetzer said the team made the decision on Sunday, shortly before returning from a preseason trip to Charleston, South Carolina, where they had played three games in preparation for Saturday's season opener in Houston.

Seattle lost only twice in their last 14 regular season matches en route to the Western Conference playoffs. They captured their first MLS Cup title on penalties after a goalless draw against Toronto FC.