The look of the Seattle Sounders’ lineup improved considerably Saturday, but the result on the scoreboard was no better.
Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Stefan Frei all returned to the first 11, but the Sounders suffered their seventh loss in eight games, this one coming to Vancouver, 3-0, before a crowd of 53,125 at CenturyLink Field.
It was Dempsey’s first MLS start since June 13, Evans' first since June 28, and Frei’s first since July 3. All played the full 90 minutes.
However, Vancouver snuffed some of the anticipation quickly, as Pa-Modou Kah got to a loose ball in front of goal and fired it in to put the Whitecaps ahead in the sixth minute.
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Kah struck again early in the second half, redirecting a ball knocked through the area by Cristian Techera.
Pedro Morales set the final score in the 75th minute, curling in a sizzling free kick from about 25 yards.
That added up to far more than enough as the Sounders were shutout for the fourth straight game and a run of 362 scoreless minutes.
Vancouver moved to 12-8-3 in the MLS standings, while the Sounders slipped below .500 at 10-11-2.
The Whitecaps also moved past the Sounders in the Cascadia Cup race where Vancouver is 2-1-2, Seattle 2-2-0 and Portland is 1-2-2.
The teams will meet again Wednesday at Vancouver in the CONCACAF Champions League group-stage opener for each. Seattle returns to MLS play Aug. 9 at Los Angeles.